Cellphone Number Portability

Some time last year I wrote an entry about keeping your phone numbers as you switch providers. In that entry, I stated that the Canadian wireless providers had plans on getting things implemented by March, 14, 2007 which is tomorrow. It looks like that day is almost here and things are still set to go.

If you’re a cellphone user looking for better rates with another wireless provider, tomorrow is the day that you can switch over to another company and keep your existing cellphone number. There’s a chance that you might not be able to keep the same phone though because not all of the phones are compatible with other service providers. I know that Rogers and Fido have phones that require the use of a SIM card. Meanwhile, Bell’s and Telus’ phone doesn’t need it. But don’t let that stop you from switch.

I am bound by a three year contract because I made a hardware upgrade about two years ago. I think that contract will be coming to an end this upcoming Christmas. At the moment, my current monthly plan is a tad expensive and I am looking to find a cheaper price plan.

My current price plan is for $25/month. This allows me to talk for fifty minutes during the day and a thousand minutes during the nights and weekends. My evening and weekend time slot starts at 6:00pm. For some plans, it doesn’t start until 8:00pm but the early evening option gives me a head start. Call display is an extra $5/month. There’s a fifty cents charge for a 911 emergency service and a $6.95 for system access fee. My monthly invoice, if I stay within my allocated airtime comes up to $42.69. And usually, I always go over my allocated airtime because I’m on the road a lot. My invoice for last month came out to just under $50.

At the moment, Fido has the same plan for the same price except they have one extra feature. They allow free incoming phone calls. So anyone can call and it won’t waste the monthly allocated airtime. I don’t make too many outbound calls anyway so this would be a pretty good deal for me. And if I agree to sign up for a three year contract with Fido, I’ll receive three months of unlimited local calling.

But since I’m bound by a contract, I cannot leave Rogers without having to pay an early cancellation fee. That cost about $20/month up to $200 but I’m not sure if that’s still the case. Telus use to be like that but then it changed. Their early cancellation fee is $20/month until the end of your contract. So there is no $200 maximum fee.

The good thing about switching providers is that your current provider will try to keep you. In order to do that, they’ll have to beat the competition. It’s far more beneficial for a company to keep an existing customer than sign up a new one. You can try negotiating a better monthly plan and see if you can get some free months of services.

I’ll be sticking with Rogers Wireless for a while since they’ve been so nice to me. They’ve offered me three months of free calling when I call to another Rogers or Fido customer. And they were kind enough to give me a free music CD for the hell of it. I’ve had a long history with Rogers and most of it is good. There was that one time when my phone stopped working for a while but that wasn’t their fault. It was my doing when I wanted to customize my cellphone. So if you’re looking to change wireless provider, this is a heads up to let you know that tomorrow is the day that you can start. Well, that’s if everything goes according to plan. I don’t see anything going wrong in the next 24hrs or so.