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Can't Take It With You

Hold the phone! Number, that is. Your cell carrier will, at least for now.

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This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If history is any measure, a third of you will change cell phone carriers this year and leave your numbers behind. More people would switch providers if it didn't mean changing business cards and notifying contacts, says Roger Entner, program manager of Yankee Group Wireless Mobile Services. Would you pay less than a dollar in monthly taxes to take your number with you as you do for landline portability?

Wireless carriers say they can't afford the billion-dollar database needed to forward calls to new providers. Consumer advocates say carriers are overestimating the cost of something they don't want to implement. "Carriers don't want to make it easier for customers to leave," Entner explains.

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