Cell Portage

Reuters reports that cell service operators want telephone phone portability -- but only if it applies to both wireless and landline phone numbers. It's hard to argue that that's a bad thing. The cell industry cites a huge cost -- $1 billion in this article -- at providing full wireless number portability, or allowing their customer to keep their phone numbers when they switch providers.

It's a road to hell, of course, because the cell companies are already engaged in mutually assured destructive commerce in which the discounts they charge pretty much are guaranteed to lose them money. Add the ability to switch and retain numbers, and you'll see the kinds of migrations that are typically associated with species of birds.

It doesn't have to be this way: the companies have all failed to learn the lesson of the race to the bottom. They'll all wind up bankrupt or albatrosses around parent companies' necks or serving their customers horribly. But that's what happens when the only differentiator they can think of is price and Catherine "expose that flesh" Zeta-Jones versus the "can you hear me guy" guy.