Even though you’ve been able to port cell phone numbers from one carrier to another for several years, many mobile phone customers find themselves having to buy new phones whenever they switch providers. Not surprisingly, a new survey by our benevolent benefactors at Consumers Union shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans not only want to be able to take any device to any carrier, but they also support legislation that would require it.
According to the nationwide poll of cell phone users, 73% of respondents said they would support a government rule that requires handsets to be compatible with all U.S. cellular services.
Smartphone users were even more solidly behind this idea, with 81% of these respondents supporting such a rule.
Even those who didn’t support the idea of a law requiring cell phone compatibility were still in favor of being able to take your phone with you, as 88% of respondents said all phone should work with all networks.
“As technology makes it easier for people to take their phones with them when changing wireless carriers, we want to make sure this benefit is extended to all consumers,” said Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “The poll results make it clear that this is a feature that nearly all cell phone owners feel they should be able to utilize. It is important that we work to put rules in to place to ensure that the benefits of interoperability be made available to consumers, rather than prolonging the current trend of locking handsets to specific providers.”