Number Portability in Canada

It’s only taken, like, forever for Canada to finally bring this little piece of heaven to its consumers: the ability to take one’s assigned phone number from one carrier to another.

Mind you, it’s really only for wireless (aka cellular) phones — we still have local monopolies who rules the provincial telephone roost (VOIP-based phones are started to make in-roads, but they’ve got a long way to go yet). But it’s a start, at least.

Primary reason? I can’t get GSM service with Telus. Telus doesn’t have it. And Telus knows that the lack of GSM on their network is a problem. Why? Because the rest of the planet outside of North America has gone to GSM. Let’s face it, GSM is a superior system to CDMA (the most common network in North America). It’s far more transportable, allows better services, and is far more modular.

And the Japanese are pushing GSM-based technology far faster than anything we can get here at home. But I digress.

Telus, I think, is starting to worry about number portability, knowing that many of their long-locked customers are itching to roam the world, rather than just around the block. Andre’s noticed this — Telus has dominated search ad space in an effort to retain and acquire as many customers as they can.

Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps they should consider two things:

  1. Getting that many customers might cause an issue with dropped calls or insufficient signals to allow existing customers to connect.
  2. Add GSM to your network. Devices like iPhone, BlackJack, KE970, Black Carbon and those to follow are (or will likely be) GSM-based.

Either way, this is going to be an interesting time in Canada. Like Andre, I think it’ll settle out in the time to come (I think maybe months rather than days, given the way teh telcos work here, but I’m naturally pessimistic towards them, anyway).

Now if I can just get a good contract and an iPhone…

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