Mobile phone operators have charged up to £250 per line to transfer numbers to another operator. Under the new legislation this will be free, or at most will involve only a small administrative charge. This will leave businesses free to shop around for the best deal and service without having to undergo the trouble and expense of changing livery and stationary.
A survey by Oftel showed that when offered a better deal only 42% of businesses would change operators if they could not take their mobile numbers with them. But more than 92% would consider changing if they could keep their numbers. The widespread dissatisfaction experienced by many mobile phone users is reflected by the fact that about 30% do not renew their existing contracts when they expire. While a few may decide to relinquish the service altogether, the overwhelming majority switch to another operator.