17/07/2007

Arrangements for porting phone numbers when customers switch supplier | Ofcom

Arrangements for porting phone numbers when customers switch supplier | Ofcom

Ofcom wants mobile operators to speed up the porting process between operators.

Currently they are allowed 5 days which is seen as a barrier to changing operators, Ofcom want to reduce this to two days and then 2 hours.

Eventually this would rely on a central common porting database which all networks could query, this is known as All Calls Query/ Common Database (ACQ/CBD) and is being implemented for Next Generation Networks.

Ofcom has allowed 26 months for this to happen, but the UK 3G operator 3 has said it could be done in less than 12 months.

Some operators will be resistant to this as making it easy for customers to move away from their network is not in their best interest. It will also effect the new tranch of low power GSM (Guard Band entrants) who are already at looking how best to implement a porting mechanism with the 5 existing MNOs.

Ofcom would like to see a database implemented and populated by 31st Dec 2008, then direct routing and near instant porting by 1st Sep 2009 and achieve Direct Routing by ALL networks (including fixed line networks) by 31st Dec 2012. There are also other options, but this is Ofcoms preferred one.

If this can be implemented quickly it will make a huge difference to the mobile world enabling users to move networks easily, it will also help the low power operators who are currently battling the MNO's (in a nice way) to make their life easier.
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