EVOLVING SYSTEMS ALLOWS YOU TO TAKE YOUR NUMBER WITH YOU
"As OUR VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES LIKES to say," said Marc Abbott, vice president of marketing at Englewood's Evolving Systems Inc., "we are the 800-pound gorilla on this block."
The block in question is the domain of local number portability and wireless number portability--LNP and WNP. Number portability refers to the practice by which a consumer can switch telecom providers without switching phone numbers.
Evolving's reputation as the King Kong of this world is reinforced by its sizeable market share: To date, the 350-employee company's software has processed about 60 percent of all U.S. phone numbers that have been "ported," bypassing the necessity for new seven-digit extensions.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act required large local telephone carriers to implement LNP as a catalyst for competition. Abbott said that the absence of portability was "a great inhibitor to (customers) taking advantage of services from another carrier" outside the incumbent. (Firms) have a huge financial investment in the identity of their company with telephone numbers, on their collateral, on their business cards, on their Web site -- everyplace." Without portability, the costs associated with changing phone numbers outweigh the potential benefits of local competition.
After the Federal Communications Commission laid out its LNP timetable five years ago, Evolving Systems won a contract to develop software for the then-new...