Time and time again I hear people in New Zealand say the thing that stops them from changing mobile phone telco is the fact they have to change their number. And over and over again I hear people referring to themselves as being on 021, imply they are on Vodafone, or 027 and imply they are on Telecom. Well Vodafone, Telecom, 2degrees etc do have their own block of numbers that they allocate to know customers (021, 027, 022) etc, but that doesn’t mean that the number is on that network anymore, and it hasn’t for a long time. My phone number starts with an 027, but I am not on Telecom anymore. I changed to 2degrees over 6 months ago, and haven’t really looked back. It is really simple in New Zealand, and can take as little as 3 hours. (When I did mine it took about 3 hours from when I requested it, until it was done, but it can take longer). 2degrees simplify this process. If you are a 2degrees customer, you can login to their My 2degrees portal, and request your number be ported. All you need is the SIM card number from your old SIM card, or the ESN number if you are on Telecom CDMA (which is closing next year anyway). This information is also required for other networks, but I am not sure what their process is for getting a number ported from another network to theirs.
So now, people no longer have the excuse of “I can’t change my number” when it comes to making a decision about what Mobile Telco to give their business to. It’s completely irrelevant. So now competitive pricing, and high quality service, is even more important if Telcos want to keep their customers (I’m looking at you Vodafone and Telecom).