Switch Your Cell Phone Company, Keep Your Number

It's called "portability", larger cities got it back in November, now it's our turn.

Changing your phone number used to be the biggest drawback to switching cell phone service, but not anymore. Now your number is truly your number.

In November, consumers in the top 100 U.S. markets were able to switch cell phone service without switching their cell phone number, and Monday morning after six months of waiting the rest of the country followed suit.

Glenn Dupree, GM for Graylink Wireless, says, "We've anxiously awaited this date, we've been receiving numerous calls, consumers wanting to switch for a number of reasons and today is the day."

The Federal Communication Commission pushed number portability through in hopes that your cell phone number will become as unique as your social security number. Many are already taking advantage of the new rules.

Dan Isacs, whose switching service, says, "I thought we were going to do it a year ago and then it got pushed off and then it was the hundred markets and now it's this one. Now, we can do it finally."

For cell phone users being able to keep your number means more choices and the chance to look around for the best bargains.

"Well we found a better plan than what we had, but we wanted to keep our numbers and it's easy to do now," says Susan Schans, who found a better plan.

Here are some tips for a smooth transfer. Most importantly, bring in a copy of your current phone bill. Also, don't discontinue service until the transfer goes through, and remember you will have to purchase a new phone and you could incur fees if you break a contract.

Often it takes as little as a couple of hours to transfer your phone number. For now, if you move out of the area to another state, you cannot you cannot keep your cell phone number, but nationwide portability is likely in the near future.