For whatever reason, many people display a high level of sentimental behavior towards objects or other living beings, while others place very little value in anything physical. It has been suggested by some that it is a physiological response resulting from a certain kind of brain structure when more neuron-rich tissue inhabits the orbitofrontal cortex. Others believe it is developed from life experiences making it a socially constructed behavior.
Whatever the case may be, it is a trait some many experience to varying degrees. This mentality can be applied to nearly any kind of object, living being and sometimes, such attitude can be applied to a concepts such as a tradition, like a holiday ritual. Some people may even become sentimental to their phone number!
Practically anything you retain for any length of time becomes a part of who you are, to some extent. It is a function of nostalgia but in the case of telecom and VoIP, there is also a practicality to retaining a phone number. Aside from never having an excuse to not call your mother, other good reasons (from her perspective, at least) exist for keeping an existing number live.
It’s good for marketing!
Some phone numbers become iconic. I can still recall the jingle from a great local pizza place I used to visit in the 90s that has since went out of business. If this business were still around, it would likely still use the phone number in marketing efforts as the melody certainly resonated. I and a handful of friends still can sing a portion of this tune, then reminisce about a great pizza that disappeared before it’s time.
Not all businesses go as far as crafting their phone number into a clever song lyric but long standing businesses who keep a well-known, publicly visible number usually have an impact on the mindset of a community. A friend, I believe who is originally from Tennessee, was telling me about a local plumbing service that has a number that spells out “PLUMB IT.” They have been pasting this number on billboards, park benches and city buses for decades, and as a result, they have been able to not only stay in business, but also grow over the years.
The number is great but the service, not so much.
Keeping a number for a great length of time certainly has benefit in many cases. However, the traditional landline model is cashing out as VoIP and mobile have practically conquered the POTS at this point in time. This is why number porting services are crucial for service providers.
In some cases, porting a number can be a pain. Fortunately, certain services are evolving that enable you to ditch your old carrier and keep the number without necessarily creating a whole new service. Consolidation is becoming a major component of phone services as many people have multiple points of contact, meaning a variety of phone numbers.
One company in particular is nailing the number porting service with a unique approach to abolishing the copper landline. The company NumberGarage created a service allowing you to port your number to their platform that utilizes VoIP to forward the call to any number you like. It’s a simple number syndication service that only runs about $10 a month for any number which is brilliant.
Sure, call forwarding isn’t anything new. However, a company that provides this one feature is exactly what some people need. Rather than sign up for a brand new service you may not need, you can keep the number and push calls to one device.
Problems with call forwarding.
Porting numbers to a new service is not always a simple task in all regions of the world. To the average consumer, it seems like such an easy process, meaning that fees for porting a number are usually greeted with contempt. The reason for these fees is because the process takes a bit of leg work on behalf of the company acquiring the number as well as the company releasing the number. You wouldn’t want to work for free, would you?
Canada is one such country where problems were formerly much more prevalent. Regulation from the CRTC has made this process less complicated for this part of the world whereas in the past, it was quite the nuisance. It’s not so much that it was more difficult than anywhere else in the world, it is simply the fact that ILECs more or less refused to work with each other. So starting in 2007, an effort was put into place that essentially mandated competing companies play nicely together.
Regulation over traditional providers is one mess but VoIP is a different situation. The CRTC, much like the FCC, does not have the same authority over information services as it does for communication services. As such, porting to VoIP can be problematic. Fortunately, companies like Vonage and NetTALK have been leading a movement in Canada for number porting efforts. Though providers are not required by law to release numbers to a VoIP service (some still refuse) these two companies seem to have the most success. As VoIP is becoming the standard for communication, it would be in the best interest of older telecom companies to comply and possibly develop their own IP communication solution or they may very well have to throw in the towel to new competition.