If you woke up this morning to the sound of unearthly chatter, it was probably just wireless service providers chewing their nails. Yes, Nov. 24 has arrived, and with it, mobile number portability. Hate your cell phone service -- or rates -- but stuck around just because everyone had your wireless number on speed dial? Your prayers have been answered.
The cellular emancipation couldn't come at a worse time for the companies. Shares of AT&T Wireless
While you are sure to hear horror stories in the coming days about folks going days without wireless service during the transition or that there is really no service provider out there with an immaculate record, the sector will be tested.
The saving grace for these companies is that the very dynamics of portability might be beneficial in the long run. Contract terminations fees are likely to rise. Those great deals on Nokia
The providers will learn to profit from the churn. If not, there will be a shakeout and those left behind will be in a better position with larger chunks of market share and more leeway to dictate pricing.
Cellular service providers aren't fading away. Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon
Wireless number portability won't be painless, but it just may just be the eye-opener the industry needs to evolve into a sector that will fundamentally connect with its consumers -- and its investors, too.
Think that portability will be a great way to lower your costs by switching to a more attractive pricing plan? Want to learn about even more ways to shave some of your overhead while spending less than you earn? All this and more in theLiving Below Your Means discussion board. Only on Fool.com.