Heard that you can now keep your cell phone number when you switch cell phone companies? Wondering what the rules are and how to go about it?

Beginning in November, 2003, Federal Communications Commission rules allow you to switch wireless phone carriers within the same geographic area and keep your existing phone number.

Here are some quick facts about how to switch.

We know: How To Keep Your Cell Phone Number

1. Who is eligible to take their current phone number with them when they change phone carriers?

At this time, everyone in the U.S can switch carries now and take their current phone number with them. This tooke effect on May 24, 2004.

2. Can I take my cell phone and my wireline number and use it with a new carrier?

Yup. Both your current cell phone number and your current wireline number are portable. You should be able to take either to a new wireless carrier. And, you should be able to use your current cell phone number as a wireline number, if you choose.

3. When can’t I take my cell or wireline number to a new carrier?

If you move outside your current geographical area, you may not be able to transport your current number to a new carrier.

4. How long will it take to move my current phone number to a new carrier?

Generally, it should only take a few hours for a wireless to wireless switch. For a wireline to wireless switch, it may take several business days.

5. Will I be charged for keeping my current phone number when I switch carriers?

You might. Carriers are allowed to charge a fee to cover the cost of ‘porting’ your current number. You may be charged a fee, but you can not be denied the opportunity to use your old number. Shop around, sometimes you can get your new carrier to pay the old carrier the cost of ‘porting’.

6. How do I start the process of moving carriers and taking my current number to the new carrier?

Contact the new carrier you would like, and they will start the process. When you go to the new carrier, bring along a recent wireless bill with your current name and address to speed the process along.

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