Verizon and Nextel Said to be Leading WNLP Game
By Eric Lin, Tue Dec 02 00:15:00 GMT 2003

It's still early to go declaring winners and losers in the number portability game, but that doesn't stop everyone from doing it.

Today in RCR Wireless, the first week's results are given, without any data or sources to back up the claims. Despite the lack of hard data, the results are plausible, so there's little reason to doubt them. Verizon and Nextel are considered the early winners. Everyone had predicted Verizon would do well because of the strength of its "can you hear me now" ad campaign. For voice users who don't care about features like pictures messaging, it's tough to beat Nextel's prices.

Sprint PCS and T-Mobile were rated as neutral. Both carriers have low unlimited data prices, but both suffer from bad reputations for coverage or call quality in many markets. The losers were Cingular and AT&T Wireless. Early reports claimed there were difficulties switching to ATT because they don't use TCI like everyone else, and they also were still working off the backlog of new GSM subscriptions they had piled up while their new CRM system was down. Cingular's subscriber loss is probably due to price. Cingular charges more than most other carriers without offering any perks like free messaging or cheap data.

RCR also quotes an analyst from RBC Capital Markets that of 30 number switches he is monitoring, only 12 have been completed so far and some of those took up to four days. Because of difficulties such as delays, and other less than stellar first reports, the trend in the media this week is to recommend that most customers wait to switch their numbers until the kinks are worked out of the system.