January 20, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Someone recently accused me of being overly negative when I talk about Sprint. The person (rightly) assumed that I hold contempt for the Now Network. Actually, I have contempt for all carriers. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon – I hate them all with varying degrees.
And that’s why I’m so pleased that number portability is coming to Google Voice. A story emerged last night that porting existing mobile numbers to GV was being slowly rolled out to users. The option has since disappeared, but Google issued a statement to TechCrunch saying:
“For a limited amount of time, we’re making the Google Voice number porting process available to users. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future.”
Sunrise seemed a bit brighter than usual today.
The days of sticking with a carrier because they hold my number hostage or threaten me with a $150 porting fee are gone. When my current contract with Sprint expires and I venture to Verizon or T-Mobile, it will be the last time I worry about reprinting business cards or notifying contacts of a new set of digits for them to press. I can activate a new phone line and forward Google Voice to the disposable number tied to that line. This will remain the one constant in my world of carrier hopping and device upgrades.
Carriers are a necessary evil that I will not be able to escape, but I take comfort in knowing that the most important aspect of mobile communication – my calling card – can no longer be used as a bargaining chip in forcing me to stay with a network. I won’t be able to escape early termination fees, but carriers will no longer be able to rent my mobile identity to me. Google Voice presents a chance to finally reclaim my number.
I may hate all four carriers, but I love the fact that none of them can lay claim to my phone number any more. Thank you, Google Voice.