The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 November 2003

The big switcheroo

Tomorrow is set by the Federal Communications Commission as the beginning of number portability for wireless telephones; in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, it will be possible to switch wireless carriers yet keep the same phone number.

I'm not going to be switching, for the following reasons:

  1. I've wangled what I consider to be an extremely good rate from my current carrier, and am loath to go through the negotiation process again.

  2. I like my phone (a Nokia 3390); it is simple, uncluttered, and performs well enough. If it has a drawback, it's a relatively heavy appetite for battery juice. It's about two or three years behind the current trends, which also suits me fine: I feel no compulsion to surf the Web or to send photographs with a phone.

  3. What's more, this phone is a GSM phone, which is not usable on the CDMA or TDMA systems which are used by most other wireless carriers.

  4. And while right now there's a definite dead spot in coverage right over my head — on the standard Nokia four-bar scale, I seldom can manage even two in my old Shabby Road flat — this will improve markedly once I'm settled into the new digs. (Yes, I checked this while I was house-shopping; did you really have to ask?)

And did I keep my old landline number for use after the move? I did not. Too many people know it, and too many more people continue to confuse it with the number of a local dentist.

Posted at 9:37 AM to General Disinterest


Why am I suprised that you have a cell phone?

Posted by: David at 12:20 PM on 23 November 2003

Not as surprised as I am.

I managed to avoid the silly things until right before the first World Tour, when I decided that it might not be a bad idea to schlep along some sort of communication device, inasmuch as pay phones are on the endangered-species list in some areas.

It's still not as useful a tool as it could be — there are some gaping holes in coverage, and there's no guarantee that you won't get a flat tire until you get back within reception range — but for the price, it's not a bad little insurance policy.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:38 PM on 23 November 2003