Can You Transfer a Number From Verizon to MetroPCS?

by Richard Gaughan

More than half the people in the United States use a cellphone, according to Planet Omni. With advanced features being added to phones and to networks at a rapid pace, it’s likely that number will grow. To maintain some kind of competitive marketplace, the law permits subscribers from one network to take their telephone number with them when they switch to another network. The network providers are permitted to recover their costs for transferring numbers. The procedure for transferring from Verizon to MetroPCS is straightforward.

Number Portability

With number portability, your phone number belongs to you.

Since 2003, number portability rules have been in effect. In essence, these rules give you ownership of your phone number, rather than giving ownership to your phone service provider. It doesn’t matter if the phone is wired or wireless, the number is yours to take with you. There are some restrictions on being within the same geographic area, but those are relatively unimportant in most cases.

FCC Recommendations

The Federal Communications Commission, the agency that oversees allocation and use of regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, is in charge of implementing the number portability process. They recommend that you contact your new service provider before terminating your account with the previous supplier. Your current supplier is obliged to release your number to the new provider, even if you still owe money on your account.

MetroPCS Guidelines

MetroPCS requests that you come in to one of their locations with a valid photo identification and a copy of your current bill from your current provider — in this case, your Verizon bill. They will initiate the transfer process, which should only take a few hours. The FCC and MetroPCS both warn that the 911 system may not work properly during the few hours of the actual transfer process, so be certain to clearly identify your location should it be necessary to activate emergency services during that time. MetroPCS does not charge a service fee for transferring your number, but they do add a surcharge across the system to recover the costs.

Making Your Phone Work

Transferring the number is only the first step. Your existing Verizon phone will not work on the MetroPCS system unless the phone is unlocked. Not all phones can be converted to work with the MetroPCS system, so that’s something to check before you transfer. You always have the option of buying a compatible phone from MetroPCS, which will then be activated with your existing phone number.

About the Author

First published in 1998, Richard Gaughan has contributed to publications such as "Photonics Spectra," "The Scientist" and other magazines. He is the author of "Accidental Genius: The World's Greatest By-Chance Discoveries." Gaughan holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of Chicago.

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