Still More on Wireless Number Portability

14 Sep ’05

Tyler Hamilton covers the slow timetable for wireless number portability in the Star:

But John Lawford, a research analyst at the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa, which has accused the wireless industry of settling into a comfortable oligopoly, said there’s no reason it should take two years to bring number portability to wireless consumers.

“I was expecting six months,” said Lawford. “What’s the problem? We only have three companies, so this shouldn’t be so difficult.”

Andrew Black, president of Virgin Mobile Canada, which resells pre-paid mobile phone services over Bell Mobility’s network, said the move is a clear-cut delay tactic for a long overdue service.

“There’s no excuse to take this into 2007,” said Black, who says he was shut out of the industry’s decision-making process.

“Canadians are losing out, and it’s not fair. They (the carriers) want to spend the next two years locking customers into long-term contracts so they won’t be able to switch.”

Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of the Virgin Group of companies, said in a release that the big carriers are “dragging their heels.” He plans to run an open letter in major newspapers tomorrow urging consumers to protest the delay.

Mark Evans of the National Post blogs it here:

If you want an example of how to drag your feet, look no further than Canada’s wireless industry, which claims to need at least two years before it can even start testing technology that will let consumer keep their phone numbers if they switch carriers.

The Globe is still MIA on the delay story.

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