Mobile number portability
Mobile number portability is implemented in different ways across the globe. The International and European standard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new network (recipient), which then sends the number portability request (NPR) to the current network (donor). This is known as "recipient-led" porting. The UK & India are the only exceptions to implement the donor-led system. The customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the donor to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC), which is then showed to the recipient network to proceed. Once having received the PAC the recipient continues the port process by contacting the donor. This form of porting is known as "donor-led" and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient, though prevents MNP scams. It has also been observed that it may act as a customer deterrent as well as allowing the donor an opportunity of "winning back" the customer. This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.
A significant technical aspect of MNP is related to the routing of calls or mobile messages (SMS, MMS) to a number once it has been ported. There are various flavours of call routing implementation across the globe but the International and European best practice is via the use of a central database (CDB) of ported numbers. A network operator makes copies of the CDB and queries it to find out to which network to send a call. This is also known as All Call Query (ACQ) and is highly efficient and scalable. A majority of the established and upcoming MNP systems across the world are based on this ACQ/CDB method of call routing. One of the very few countries to not use ACQ/CDB is the UK, where once a number has been ported, calls to that number are still routed via the donor network. This is also known as "indirect routing" and is highly inefficient as it is wasteful of transmission and switching capacity. Because of its donor dependent nature, indirect routing also means that if the donor network develops a fault or goes out of business, the customers who have ported numbers out of that network will lose incoming calls to their numbers. The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of the UK MNP process on November 29, 2007, and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than September 1, 2009.[dated info]
Prior to March 2008 it took a minimum of 5 working days to port a number in the UK compared to 3.5 working days in Pakistan, 2 hours in USA, as low as 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland, 3 minutes in Australia and even a matter of seconds in New Zealand. On July 17, 2007, Ofcom released its conclusions from the review of the UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days effective April 1, 2008. On 29 November 2007, Ofcom completed a round of consultations on further reduction of porting time to 2 hours along with recipient-led porting and mandated that near-instant (no more than 2 hours) recipient-led porting be implemented by no later than September 1, 2009. However, in early 2008 Vodafone UK appealed the Ofcom statement before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), and on September 18, 2008, CAT ruled in favor of the appeal, returning the matter back to Ofcom for reconsideration. On July 8, 2010, Ofcom issued a final statement, retaining the donor-led process, mandating a two-hour PAC release time, and reducing the porting time from two to one working day.
In a decentralised model of MNP, a FNR (flexible number register) may be used to manage a database of ported out/ported in numbers for call routing.
Number lookup services
Service providers and carriers who route messages and voice calls to MNP-enabled countries might use home location register (HLR) query services to find out the correct network of a mobile phone number. A number of such services exist, which query the operator's HLR over the SS7 signalling network in order to determine the current network of a specified mobile phone number prior to attempted routing of messaging or voice traffic.
Impact of MNP on mobile operators and customers
MNP is important for telecoms markets because it removes a bar to switching that keeps those with much equity in the number – in particular many business users – prisoner behind a high switching barrier. The reduction in barriers to switching is of particular benefit to challenger operators against dominant incumbents. Typically, when MNP is implemented in a country, a rise in churn follows.
The caller / customer experience of portability can vary by country. For example, in Portugal any call to a ported mobile number includes an announcement that the number has been ported. Uptake of porting varies considerably by market: A report by Irish regulator Comreg shows over 3 million Irish mobile numbers ported between 2004 and 2013, whereas in Portugal, with a much larger population of mobile users, only a little over one million numbers ported in a similar period.
Mobile number portability by country
|Time to port
|Brazil||2008.09.01||3||BRL 4||The plan started in March 2007|||
|Chile||2012.01.16||1||free||The process takes place overnight.|||
|Canada||2007.03.14||0||free||MNP procedure takes 10–20 minutes.|
|Ecuador||2009.10.12||4||free||ASCP handled by Systor, Telconet and JR Electric Supply|
|Mexico||2008.07.05||Service handled by Telcordia Technologies and Neoris|||
|Peru||2010.01.01||7-9||free||The user will assume the cost of the new sim card of the new mobile company that will cost around 15 PEN|
|USA||2003.11.24||0||free||MNP procedure takes 2 hours.|
|Time to port
04x1, 04x2, 04x3 referred to Optus
04x4, 04x5 and 04x6 referred to Vodafone
043x, referred to Vodafone Hutchison Australia formally known as Hutchison 3G Australia.
04x7, 04x8, 04x9 and 0410x referred to Telstra
|Hong Kong||1999.03.01||2||free||Service handled by Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA). In the network, you may be charged unexpectedly for a call to a mobile that has been ported form a different network.|||
|India||2011.01.20||7||19||Customers can port between prepaid and postpaid options. The master database will be managed by a third party firm. For zone I, Syniverse has been appointed with the MNP and related issues while for zone II, it is Telcordia. The customer should have completed a period of 90 days (from the date of activation of the mobile connection) with the current operator, to be eligible for porting to another operator.
To shift your mobile number from one operator to another, a customer shall send PORT <your Mobile Number> to 1900. You will receive a unique alphanumeric UPC (Unique Porting Code) as a SMS from 1901 giving 8 digit alpha-numeric Unique Porting Code (UPC) and UPC expiry date in MM/DD/YYYY format. Visit the office of your new mobile operator and give them this UPC Code.
|Malaysia||2008.10.01||1||free||1 day is a minimum time necessary for porting|||
|Pakistan||2007.03.23||4||free||Customers can port between prepaid and postpaid options. On porting IN, the recipient company provides, free credit and airtime. The service is handled by Pakistan MNP Database (Guarantee) Limited, the joint venture of all the cellular companies of Pakistan.|
|Singapore||2008.06.13||1||free||Customers are not able to port between prepay and post pay options. Vendor for database installation is Syniverse Technologies|||
|Thailand||2010.12.15||3||THB 29||Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by Telcordia Technologies. 3 days can be just working days.|
|Time to port
|Albania||2010.12.22||TBA||TBA||Agreement signed on 2010-12-22 between AKEP (Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications) and the service handling company "INFOSOFT SYSTEMS sh.a.". Service not implemented yet.|||
|Belgium||2002.10.01||2||Free||The central solution CRDC has been re-implemented several times. First time it was implemented by Telcordia Technologies US, second time by Cap Gemini Sweden and Belgium, third time by Porthus Belgium. Access to DB: setup fee : €11 000, annual fee: € 3000.|
|Croatia||2006.10.01||5||5 days is maximum possible period necessary for porting a number. Service handled by HAKOM.|
|Czech Republic||2006.01.15||4||Before 2013-09-01 it was 30 days to transfer, now just 4 days|||
|Denmark||2001.07.??||1||DKK 0-29||The central solutions is called OCH - Operators Clearing House. Before 2009 it was 30–60 days to transfer number, now just 1 day|||
|Finland||2003.07.25||5||Free||Handled by the company Numpac|||
|France||2003.06.30||3||Free||Heavily improved since November 2011 with a 3-days maximum lead time (was taking 2 months in most cases before 2007, then 10 days)|||
|Germany||2002.11.01||6||EUR 25||The average price charged is about € 25. The exact amount depends on the old provider. A price limit of € 30.72 was set by the Bundesnetzagentur.|||
|Greece||2003.09.??||Service handled by Telcordia Technologies|
|Iceland||2004.10.01||10||Free||10 days is maximum possible period. Service handled by Telcordia Technologies|
|Ireland||2003.07.25||0||Free||Volumes of ported mobile numbers are reported in the Comreg quarterly report|
|Lithuania||2004.01.01||28||Service handled by Telcordia Technologies. 28 days is a maximum possible period.|
|Luxembourg||2005.02.01||1||Managed by the G.I.E Telcom E.I.G. operator group and developed, installed and operated by Systor Trondheim AS.|
|Macedonia||2008.09.01||The reference database was developed, installed and is presently operated by Seavus Group.|
|Malta||2005.07.31||0||4 hours is a period necessary to port a number.|
|Moldova||2013.07.01||5-30||Free||Service handled by Mediafone. 30 days is a maximum possible period|||
|Norway||2001.04.01||5||NOK 0 - 200||Administrated by the National Reference Database (NRDB). The reference database was developed, installed and is presently operated by Systor Trondheim AS.|
|Poland||2006.02.??||Free||To be administrated by the National Central Database (PLI-CBD) run by Office of Electronic Communications (UKE). 30-day max porting time is to be reduced to 1 day.|
|Portugal||2002.01.01||5-10||Free||Operated by Portabil S.A. Solution implemented by Systor Trondheim AS of Norway.|
|Romania||2008.10.21||3||Free||Developed by UTI Systems based on the Porthus implementation|||
|Russia||2013.12.01||up to 7 days||RUR 100||If the mobile operator does not have time to port a phone number at 7 days, all services is free for subscriber.|
|Slovakia||2004.05.01||4||EUR 5||Price is different for each operator. Portation request can by set max 2 months into the future.|
|Slovenia||2005.12.31||5||EUR 5||5 EUR is a maximum possible price|
|Sweden||2001.09.01||5-6||Free||The largest operators formed independent company, SNPAC AB, to procure central database (CRDB) solution. Implementation of CRDB is carried out by Cap Gemini & Oracle.|
|Turkey||2008.11.09||6||Free||AVEA and Vodafone hired Gantek to implement central database (CRDB) solution and donated it to Turkish Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Number Portability Clearinghouse service handled by Telcordia Technologies|
Middle East and Africa
|Time to port
|Egypt||2008.04.??||NPC serves the centralized administrative and provisioning role of MNP. Number Portability Clearhouse is handled by Telcordia Technologies, where Giza Systems is the system integrator.|
|Ghana||2011.07.07||typically 5-10 min., max 24 hours||Free||Central system operated by Porting Access Ghana, under authorisation from National Communications Authority|
|Israel||2007.12.03||up-to 30 minutes||Free||Service includes landline as well as mobile numbers|||
|Jordan||2010.06.01||1||7 JOD||Service is not implemented, but is still planned. TRC started the process in 2005 and released the official bid to implement and operate MNP during September 2009.|||
|Kuwait||2013.06.15||1||Free||The Ministry of Telecommunications has launched the service on 2013-06-15. The project manager is the National Technology Enterprises Company www.ntec.com.kw|
|Nigeria||2013.04.22||2||Free||NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) has adopted a phased approach to the launch of Mobile Number Portability service in Nigeria. The process to port to CDMA networks will begin as soon as the GSM porting process is completed and launched. Mobile Number Portability will initially be available among the GSM mobile operators: MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT, and AIRTEL.|||
|Oman||2006.08.26||Implemented as a decentralized solution by Porthus for Nawras, and by Gulf Business Machines/Telcordia for Oman Mobile.|
|Saudi Arabia||2006.07.08||Free||Managed by the Centralized Clearinghouse Approach, through the NPC (Number Portability Clearinghouse), a product of Telcordia Technologies. The implementer and system integrator is Giza Arabia.|
|South Africa||2006.11.10||The three operators, Vodacom SA, MTN SA, and Cell C, formed an independent company for the implementation and management of the central solution. After delays, the implementation of this solution was awarded to local company Saab Grintek teamed up with Telcordia Technologies.|
- Ofcom. "Changes to the Mobile Number Porting Process, Final Statement", London, 8 July 2010. Retrieved on 6 May 2013
- Dominican Republic
- New Zealand 1
- New Zealand 2
- Hong Kong
- MNP India
- MNP India , Online Status of Porting Request
- Maxis Telecommunication MNP FAQ
- Celcom Telecommunication MNP FAQ
- Switch to DiGi FAQ
- MNP Malaysia-launched Nationwide in October
- It’s confirmed – Singapore has incomplete number portability
- Balkanweb News Agency
- "Change your service to Lemontel". Lemontel.com.cy. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- Czech Republic
- Nummerflytning - Telia
- payngo.dk[dead link]
- Suomen numerot NUMPAC Oy: Numpac in English
- (French) 3 days maximum time-to-port Arcep, November 2011
- EEC report MNP in Europe
- "ANACOM - Table of prices (reported up to the second half of 2012)". Anacom.pt. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Portabilitate". Portabilitate.ro. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Ortel Mobile - Number Portability". Ortelmobile.es. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Vodafone: żQué es la Portabilidad?". Tienda.vodafone.es. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Telenor - Kundservice - Nummerflytt". Telenor.se. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Byt till Telia - Mobil telefoni - Privat - Telia.se". Tewss.telia.se. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "Switching To Orange - Orange Communications SA/AG". .orange.ch. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- United Kingdom
- Phone Number Portability and Its Implementation in Telephone Networks in Israel – FAQ. Israel Ministry of Communications (Hebrew)
- Mobile Number Portability FAQ - Nigerian Communications Commission