In the past week, cellular telephone users across Iowa and nationwide were granted the ability to keep their current cell phone number even if they change service providers. Jay Ellison, a spokesman for U-S Cellular in Mason City, says only customers in larger markets have been able to keep their numbers until now. Ellison says this is the second phase of the Wireless Number Portability Act; the first phase began on November 1st of last year in the 100 largest markets in the country. Ellison says he’s not sure how many Iowans may change their providers and keep their current numbers. He says there was a major anticipation in the 100 largest markets that lots of people would take advantage of the chance to take their current number with them, but those high expectations were never realized. Ellison says you’ll have to wait a couple of hours before using your cell phone again if you switch carriers but keep your number. Ellison says the time it takes for your number to be transferred to another provider and activated will vary and depends on what carrier you choose as your new provider.
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