Canadians likely to be taking their numbers with them

    Study Finds Consumers Welcome Number Portability But Won't Automatically

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - With last week's arrival of number portability
in Canada, a new poll conducted by TNS Canadian Facts reveals that consumers
are welcoming the change and expect benefits to follow from increased
    Number portability allows consumers to keep the same telephone number
when changing cellphone service providers. Canadians can also port their
landline phone number to a cellphone, giving them the option of discarding
their wired connection altogether without losing their familiar landline
    "While having to give up their phone numbers when changing providers was
not the only factor keeping consumers loyal to their phone company, we can
expect considerable changes from telecommunication companies as they try to
retain current subscribers and attract new ones in a highly competitive
market," said Richard Jenkins, vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts.
    The TNS Canadian Facts poll found that half of all personal cellphone
users are aware of number portability but few of those with a current contract
are planning to switch when their contract expires (19% probably or definitely
will). Pay-as-you-go users also plan to stay with their current company (only
13% probably or definitely will switch).
    Cellphone users do expect that the introduction of number portability
will make it more likely that they will switch at some point in the future.
Portability resonates with consumers. Eighty-one per cent of cellphone users
say that it is very important that they can keep their phone number if they
switch companies. Cellphone users also expect that being able to keep their
phone number will result in more competition.
    Although there are high levels of satisfaction with current providers
(43% are very satisfied and 44% are fairly satisfied), many consumers are
willing to consider their options and are not so strongly wedded to their
current service providers to discount the possibility of switching at some
point in the future.
    "Consumers are now free to contemplate offers from other companies, even
if they are satisfied with their current provider, and they expect these
offers to come," added Jenkins. "A lot now depends on which players
effectively embrace number portability and are successful at winning the
hearts and minds of consumers in this new competitive environment."
    For the study, a total of 1,017 nationally representative Canadian adults
were interviewed by telephone between March 12 and 18, yielding a margin of
error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Some
questions were asked only to the 482 individuals who own and pay for a
cellphone. For this sub-set of the total sample, the survey results are
considered accurate to within 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

    TNS Canadian Facts ( is one of Canada's most prestigious
full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

    About TNS

    TNS is a market information group:

    -   The world's largest provider of custom research and analysis

    -   A leader in political and social polling

    -   A major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and
        radio audience measurement services.

    TNS operates across a global network in over 70 countries, allowing us to
provide internationally consistent, up-to-the-minute and high quality
information and analysis.
    TNS' strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in
delivering value added information and insights that help our clients to make
more effective decisions.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Richard W. Jenkins, Vice
President, Corporate Director, Public Opinion Research, Tel: (613) 230-4408
x101, e-mail:; David W. Stark, Vice President,
Public Affairs, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x238, e-mail:

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