Marketing Showcase: Local Number Portability

The pundits were wrong about local number portability (LNP).

Analysts expected droves of consumers to ditch their wireless providers for better deals once LNP rules took effect Nov. 24, but there was no instant mass exodus.

Even so, channel partners likely will find themselves battling higher churn rates and fighting to promote aggressive win-back campaigns in the coming months. TNS Telecom found 27 percent of households with a wireless phone are likely to switch carriers within the next year even without being offered a lower price by a competing provider. When offered a 10 percent discount, the percentage of households likely to switch jumps to 62 percent and to 73 percent for a 20 percent discount.

Discover how LNP affects the way you sell, and how to capitalize on it, during a session today at 11 a.m.

"We have obviously focused on the fact there is number portability," says Fionda LLC Co-founder and Managing Director Ken Rotman, one of the scheduled speakers. "We have been able to focus more on finding the best deal … which we really weren’t free to do because people were really prisoner to their own phone number."

The fact few Americans ditched their mobile provider last fall gave Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Fionda — a master agency for traditional sales reps, affinity groups, government agencies and other organizations — the opportunity to caution its diverse sales network about the risks of switching carriers. Some mobile operators faced great technical problems porting numbers late last year.

"For us to properly serve our clients … we really need to explain what the risks are," Rotman says.

LNP rules took effect last fall in the 100 largest metro areas. Carriers serving other parts of the country must comply with the FCC regulations in May.

Ralph Widmar, CTO of TMC Communications, says he plans to talk about the history surrounding LNP and the nuts and bolts of how it works during the session. He also plans to discuss other technological issues, such as how Internet-based calling could further complicate number portability. Tim Basa, director, business development, Telegration Inc., is scheduled to join Rotman and Widmar.

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