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Go On, Take It!

Your old cell phone number, that is.

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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After exhausting every legal and regulatory appeal, cellular companies seem ready to let you take your phone number if you leave.

Why the foot-dragging? Carriers lose almost a third of their customers annually, and many envision wholesale defections when change doesn't mean sacrificing your phone number. Studies by The Management Network Group Inc. (TMNG), a consulting firm in Overland Park, Kansas, say that churn could approach 50 percent next year but then quickly begin heading downward. Carriers will gain or lose customers, says TMNG principal Jeff Maszal, depending on who responds with service improvements and more attractively priced packages.

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