So you're thinking of switching to thenext month from another carrier? Assuming you'd like to keep your current phone number, there are some clear-cut dos-and-don'ts when it comes to porting numbers. Here's a refresher in case it's been a while. Read up on everything else you need to know about the iPhone 4 .
Do I cancel my current contract?
Don't even think about it! The best way to lose your cell phone number forever is to cancel your contract with your current carrier (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or others) before signing on to a new one. Instead, walk into any retail store with your current phone in hand and sign up for a new contract. Verizon reps will do all the heavy lifting for you, essentially canceling your contract on your behalf.
Will I need to sign a new contract?
Yes, unless you wish to buy the iPhone 4 at the off-contract price, which typically costs much more up front. The 16GB model will cost $199.99 with a two-year contract; the 32GB model will sell for $299.99.
How long will it take to port my number?
The timing varies, but you could get use of your number on your new phone in as few as 3 hours, or up to a day. If the volume of requests is too high, the port could take as many as four days. Patience is a must.
What do I do to activate the porting?
You won't have to do a thing. When the porting is complete, you'll receive a text to your new phone.
Does it matter which carrier I'm switching from?
No, the porting process is identical from all carriers.
Will I be charged extra fees?
There is typically an activation fee for new, two-year contracts. In addition, you're responsible for paying your previous carrier for the final service charge before you cancel. If you duck out of a contract, you'll also face an early termination fee (ETF). The exact ETF differs by carrier--some pro-rate based on how many months of the contract you've already fulfilled, while others may have a fixed bail-out penalty. For instance, AT&T has in anticipation of losing its exclusive control over U.S. iPhone sales.