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U.S. Mobile Number Portability

According to Pyramid Research, mobile number portability (MNP) was first instituted in the U.S. on November 24, 2003 � a date wireless carriers feared most. U.S. mobile operators braced themselves for what they expected to be one of the largest challenges within their industry. Eighteen months after its introduction, number portability has been more of a lumbering elephant and less of a roaring lion. At the onset, the FCC, wireless operators, and many industry analysts expected 30 million subscribers to transfer their wireless number within the first 12 months of MNP�s introduction. Only 7.8 million actually did. The top five national carriers have all added customers during this time, with AT&T/Cingular growing by about 5 percent on the low end, and T-Mobile growing by more than 33 percent on the high end. Overall, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have been the biggest winners as they have focused on improving network quality and customer service. However, the new Cingular may soon become MNPs largest beneficiary as it has become the nation�s largest carrier.

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