Cell Phone Number Portability Rule Kicks In

Carriers report brisk business.

As new federal rules took effect to enable users to change cell phone providers without switching their cell phone numbers, carriers reported brisk business last week.

Verizon Wireless reported more than twice the usual traffic in its stores, and Cingular Wireless said portions of its Web site were down for about 2 hours as the company added capacity to handle heavier-than-normal visits.

The long-awaited portability change set off a marketing blitz by cell phone companies, fearful of losing their customers and eager to snare new ones from rivals.