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Jun 25, 2007



Phone number portability is widespread and usually fast and easy.

Irwin Lazar

Thanks for the comments Joseph. I tried to port my Cingular cell phone number to Sprint-Nextel about a year ago and was told by Sprint-Nextel that they couldn't do the port, the reason they gave was that they were out of number space, or something to that effect.

Previously, when I ported a verizon number to AT&T it got screwed up along the way because someone fat-fingered my address, which took about two weeks to resolve.

By separating out the number from the service, I avoid all that hassle, plus I can have a single phone number that rings anywhere I want it to - whether it be cell, home, work, or even Skype.

matt lambert

Hi Irwin. It occurs to me that number portability could also be phrased as 'a self updating address book'. If users are abstracting the number from the device they receive a call at, several times a day let alone when they change devices every couple of years - then I think this is significant.

The difference between this and other similar services available in the past might be the trust that ownership by a big company could generate. A single number from a company that goes bust next year is worthless.

Similarly, the ability to scale globally and offer seamless fail over with cheap computing has long been google's real competitive advantage. I'd better stop now.

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