Mobile Carrier Churn Rate Remained The Same?

from the uh...-really? dept

Remember all those horror stories that all the wireless carriers (with the exception of Verizon Wireless in the last few months) were predicting would happen after wireless local number portability was put in place? As expected it’s looking like they were being a bit too dramatic. The CTIA’s Steve Largent is now saying that, even with local number portability and all the hype that brought, carrier churn isn’t any higher than in previous years. This statement is both interesting and misleading at the same time. First, it’s interesting because in saying it, he never admits how hard the CTIA fought against local number portability, claiming that the churn would seriously damage the industry. It’s also misleading, because churn had been on the way down leading up to number portability — partly because of number portability. It appears that the real purpose of number portability has worked: it’s made the carriers more receptive to what consumers want, in many cases (though, it’s also created ridiculously long, impossible to get out of, contracts). However, it’s pretty clear that the additional churn created by number portability probably brought churn rates back up to what they had been previously after the industry had lowered them earlier in 2003. Also, he’s not clear on what stats he’s using. Recent reports have suggested that the number of people porting numbers to new carriers has been on the rise over the last few months (though, again, that may be because more areas were opened up to LNP in May). Either way, it’s an interesting rewriting of history by the CTIA.

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