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Mobile number portability

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile phone users to retain a mobile telephone number when changing the mobile network operator.

Overview[edit]

Mobile number portability is implemented in varying ways across the globe. The international and European standard implements "recipient-led" porting, in which a customer wishing to port a telephone number contacts the new network (recipient), which sends the number portability request (NPR) to the current network operator (donor). By contrast, the United Kingdom and India are the only exceptions, and implement a "donor-led" system, in which the customer is required to contact the donor to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) in the UK—or a Unique Porting Code (UPC) in India—which is to be submitted to the recipient network. The recipient continues the porting process by informing the recipient of that porting code. The method has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient, though it prevents MNP scams. It has also been observed that it may act as 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. From 1 July 2019 as a result of new rules from Ofcom, In the UK a customer can request a PAC without having to speak to their provider by texting PAC to 65075.[1]

Technical details[edit]

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. According to RFC3482, 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 not to 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.[2] The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of the UK MNP process on 29 November 2007, and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than 1 September 2009.[3] However, in 2010 Ofcom reversed its position after opposition from the major telecoms operators in the UK who questioned the cost based analysis of Ofcom's mandate and a successful appeal by Vodafone in 2008.[4][5]

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 United States, as quickly as 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland, 3 minutes in Australia, and a matter of seconds in New Zealand. On 17 July 2007, Ofcom released its conclusions from the review of the UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days effective 1 April 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 1 September 2009. However, in early 2008 Vodafone UK appealed the Ofcom statement before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), and on 18 September 2008, CAT ruled in favor of the appeal, returning the matter back to Ofcom for reconsideration. On 8 July 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.[6]

In a decentralised model of MNP, an FNR (flexible number register) may be used to manage a database of ported out/ported in numbers for call routing.

Number lookup services[edit]

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. These number lookup services can access the centralized database where the details related to each phone number subscribe is present who has been authorised to use the GSM network.

Impact of MNP on mobile carriers and customers[edit]

MNP map by implementation time

MNP is important for the telecom markets because it removes a hurdle to switching that might keep those with much equity in the number—in particular business users—prisoner behind a high switching barrier. The reduction in barriers to switching is of particular benefit to challenger carriers 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.[7] 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,[8] whereas in Portugal, with a much larger population of mobile users, only a little over one million numbers ported in a similar period.

The Americas[edit]

Country Implementation date
yyyy.mm.dd
Time to port
days
Price Short notes References
 Argentina 2010.08.17 1–5 days ARS 5[9] The plan started in August 2010. Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv. [10]
 Bolivia 2018.10.01 1 Free The process take more working days on postpaid services [11][12]
 Brazil 2008.09.01 0–3 Free The plan started in March 2007 [13]
 Canada 2007.03.14 0 Free MNP procedure takes 10–20 minutes. [14]
 Colombia 2011.07.29 0 Free On 1 July 2020, the time taken for the MNP procedure to take effect was reduced from 3 days to under 24 hours, the customer might also pick a specific date for the MNP procedure be carried out. [15][16][17]
 Chile 2012.01.16 1 Free The process takes place overnight. Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv. [18]
 Dominican Republic 2009.09.30 3–10 Free [19]
 Ecuador 2009.10.12 4 Free ASCP handled by Systor, Telconet and JR Electric Supply
 El Salvador 2015.08.24 0 Free The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed and installed by Mediafon Datapro, administered by Mediafon Datapro and "imCard S.A. de C.V." . MNP procedure takes up to 8 hours, FNP – 3 days. [20][21]
 Honduras 2014.04.30 0 Free MNP procedure takes 1 hour.
 Mexico 2008.07.05

2019.09.01

In 2019 September Mediafon de Mexico successfully replaced old solution by modern Numlex NPCDB platform.

Previously the service was handled by iconectiv and Neoris.

[22]
 Paraguay 2012.11.30 Up to 8 working days Free MNP can take up to 8 working days but usually takes no longer than 1–2 working days. Switching occurs between 1 am and 5 am.
 Peru 2010.01.01 7–9 Free sim card of the new mobile company that will cost around 15 PEN.
 United States 2003.11.24 0 Free iconectiv manages the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC), the largest number portability system in the world. Consisting of seven regional systems, the NPAC facilitates number porting across all Service Providers in the United States.
Uruguay 20212.01.12 1–5 days Free Cleartech manages the Portability Database Administration (ABD - Administrador de la Base de Datos)

Central Asia[edit]

Country Implementation date
yyyy.mm.dd
Time to port
days
Price Short notes References
 Kazakhstan 2016.01.01 5 Free The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed and installed by Mediafon Datapro, administrated by national NPCDB Administrator.

Asia Pacific[edit]

Country Implementation date
YYYY.MM.DD
Time to port
days
Price Short notes References
 Australia 2001.09.25 0 Free Previously prefixes
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
Some carriers may charge a fee for porting out. MNP takes around 10 to 20 minutes
[23]
 Bangladesh 2018.10.01 7 $0.43

50 BDT Fee and 200 BDT SIM replacement Tax and VAT. Total amount is 256 BDT.

Number portability is available nationwide, "Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium" provided the MNP. 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. Similarly, after porting to a new provider the number would be locked in for 90 days.

GrameenPhone, Robi, Airtel-bd, Banglalink all operator can port own Number.

The duration for the process is 7 days and the time a number is deactivated for portability is about 2 hours.

[24]
 China (mainland)
  • Phase I: 2010.11 (in Tianjin and Hainan)
  • Phase II: 2018.12 (Phase I and Jiangxi, Hubei and Yunnan provinces)
  • Phase III: 2019.11.10 (all provinces, officially on 2019.12.01)
<1 (1~2 hours as in Phase II) Free (but as per the 4th requirement on right, sometimes cancellation of contract services may take some fees) No MVNO, satellite and IoT numbers are accepted due to technical challenges. No changes on home territory when doing MNP. MNP requests may only accepted if and when the phone numbers:
  1. Are identified with real name
  2. Are not in reported-the-loss or halted mode
  3. Have not owed phone bills
  4. Have no limits on contract services
  5. Have linked with the previous carrier for 120 days
[25][26][27][28]
 Hong Kong 1999.03.01 2 Free Service handled by Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA). In the network, you may be charged unexpectedly for a call to a mobile that has been ported form a different network. [29]
 India 2011.01.20 3[30] ₹6.46 (if requested by operator) Number portability is available nationwide,[31] provided 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. Similarly, after porting to a new provider the number would be locked in for 90 days. Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv.

The duration for the process is 3 days and the time a number is deactivated for portability is about 2 hours.

[32]

[33] [34]

 Japan 2006.10.24 1 JPY 3000 [35] [36]
 Malaysia 2008.10.01 1 Free 1 day is a minimum time necessary for porting. Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv. [37][38][39][40]
 Maldives 2016.03.10 2 MVR 200 Number portability is allowed within a circle. The customer should have completed a period of 90 days (from the date of activation of the mobile connection) with the current operator and any outstanding bills should be cleared, to be eligible for porting to another operator.

Although the duration for the process is 2 days for total process but the time a number is deactivated for portability is 2 hours only.

[41]

[42] [43]

 New Zealand 2007.04.01 [44]
 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,[45] the joint venture of all the cellular companies of Pakistan. Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv.
 Philippines 2021.09.30 2 Free [46]
 Singapore 2008.06.13 1 Free Customers are not able to port between prepaid and postpaid options. Vendor for database installation is Syniverse Technologies [47]
 South Korea 2004.07.12 [48][44]
 Taiwan 2005.10.13 1 TWD 112 [49][50]
 Thailand 2010.12.15 2 Free Number Portability Clearinghouse services were previously handled by iconectiv. 2 days can be just working days. [51]
 Vietnam 2018.11.16 (postpaid)

2019.01.01 (prepaid)

2 60,000 VND (postpaid)

50,000 VND (prepaid)

Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv. [52]

Europe[edit]

Country Implementation date
yyyy.mm.dd
Time to port
days
Price Short notes References
 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. [53]
 Armenia 2014.04.01
 Austria 2004.10.16 3 EUR 10
 Azerbaijan 2013.08.01 3 Free From 1 January 2013 NPCDB in Azerbaijan is administrated by Mediafon Datapro, the company of Mediafon group, which has won international rebid for NPCDB administration in Azerbaijan in 2013.

Mediafon Datapro successfully replaced old solution by modern Numlex NPCDB platform.

[54][55]
 Belarus 2012.02.01 1 Free
 Belgium 2002.10.01 2 Free The central solution CRDC has been re-implemented several times. Originally, it was implemented by iconectiv US, then by Cap Gemini Sweden and Belgium, and the third time by Porthus Belgium. Access to DB: setup fee : €11 000, annual fee: €3000. Before, the prefixes 047x was for Proximus phones, 048x for Base and 049x for Orange
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013.01.01 3 Free [56]
 Bulgaria 2008.04.11 2 EUR 2.56
 Croatia 2006.10.01 5 5 days is maximum possible period necessary for porting a number. Service handled by HAKOM.
 Cyprus 2004.07.?? 2 Free[57]
 Czechia 2006.01.15 4 Before 2013-09-01 it was 30 days to transfer, now just 4 days [58]
 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 [59]
 Estonia 2005.01.01 7
 Finland 2003.07.25 5 Free Handled by the company Numpac [60]
 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) [61]
 Georgia 2011.01.01 Free From 1 January 2017 NPCDB in Georgia is administrated by Mediafon Datapro, the company of Mediafon group, which has won international rebid for NPCDB administration in Georgia in 2016. Mediafon Datapro successfully replaced old solution by modern Numlex NPCDB platform. [44]
 Germany 2002.11.01 1 Free
 Greece 2003.09.?? 3 Free Service is handled by iconectiv.
 Hungary 2004.05.01 8 Free
 Iceland 2004.10.01 10 Free 10 days is maximum possible period.
 Ireland 2003.07.25 0 Free Full mobile number portability in Ireland is a very simple and rapid process, driven by the customer. The request is made to the new operator, then automatically confirmed by SMS or a voice call using a code. It normally completes within a few minutes. Many operators can process requests automatically online through their websites. Requests can occasionally take longer, but usually no more 24 hours. Volumes of ported mobile numbers are reported in the Comreg quarterly report[8] Before 2003, partial mobile number portability was available. Customers retained the last 7-digits of their mobile number, but changed operator prefix. Callers to the old prefix would hear an automatic announcement advising them of the new number. This service was introduced in 1997 and replaced by full portability in 2003. Where an Irish number is ported, mobile callers will hear a 'chirp' tone if they are calling a number that is not on its original network. This alerts them that call charges other networks may apply.

Service handled by PortingXS via the Inports Number Portability System.

 Italy 2002.04.01 1 Free (1 to €1.6 if the subscriber wants to transfer their prepaid credit to the new carrier) The maximum time for the procedure is 24 working hours. In case of delay up to 3 working days no refund is given, if the delay is longer than 3 days user receive a refund of €2.5 for each day of delay, start counting from day 1.
 Latvia 2007.??.?? 10 Free
 Lithuania 2004.01.01 28 From 2016.01.01 (after rebid in 2015) NPCDB administrator VsI "Numerio perkelimas" manages NPCDB solution NUMLEX developed and installed by Mediafon.

Time to port – 1 day

 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.
 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 Mediafon Datapro. The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed, installed and supported by Mediafon Datapro, administrated by national NPCDB Administrator "NP Base" [62]
 Netherlands 1999.04.?? 3 [63]
 North Macedonia 2008.09.01 The reference database was developed, installed and is operated by Seavus Group.
 Norway 2001.04.01 5 NOK 0 – 200 Administrated by the National Reference Database (NRDB). The reference database was developed, installed and is 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[64] Operated by Portabil S.A. Solution implemented by Systor Trondheim AS of Norway.
 Romania 2008.10.21 3[65] Free Developed by UTI Systems based on the Porthus implementation [66]
 Russia 2013.12.01 8[67] RUR 0–100[68][69] CBDPN was installed.
 Serbia 2011.07.01 2 Free
 Slovakia 2004.05.01 4 Free Portation request done in 5 days
 Slovenia 2005.12.31 5 EUR 5 5 EUR is a maximum possible price
 Spain 2000.10.?? 1 Free[70] Central database managed through the AOPM (Asociación de Operadores para la Portabilidad Móvil).
 Sweden 2001.09.01 5–6[71][72] 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.
  Switzerland 2000.03.01[73] 5 Free[74]
 Turkey 2008.11.09 2–6 Free AVEA and Vodafone hired Gantek to implement central database (CRDB) solution and donated it to Turkish Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Number Portability Clearinghouse services were previously handled by iconectiv. SIM replacement required.
 Ukraine 2019.05.01 1 Free Participants: 3Mob, Lifecell, Vodafone, Kyivstar, Intertelecom [75]
 United Kingdom 2003.07.25 1 Free Users in the United Kingdom are required to use a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC)[76] [77]

Middle East and Africa[edit]

Country Implementation date
yyyy.mm.dd
Time to port
days
Price Short notes References
 Bahrain 2011.07.08 Free Managed by the Systor Cntral System.
 Egypt 2008.04.07 24 hours Free (may request 5 EGP for new MNP SIM fee), was charging 75 EGP before NPC serves the centralized administrative and provisioning role of MNP, where Giza Systems is the system integrator. Cannot revert to existing operator before 4 months of service to new operator. Porting to another operator, line should be at least 4 months old. Number Portability Clearinghouse services were previously handled by iconectiv. [78]
 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
 Iran 2016.07.10 3–5 Free
 Israel 2007.12.03 up-to 30 minutes Free Service includes landline as well as mobile numbers [79]
 Ivory Coast 2018 The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed and installed by Mediafon Datapro.
 Jordan 2010.??.?? [44]
 Kenya 2011.04.01 Free [80]
 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
 Morocco 2019 ongoing deployment In 2019 Mediafon Datapro will successfully implement modern Numlex NPCDB platform.
 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. Number Portability Clearinghouse services were previously handled by iconectiv. [81]
 Oman 2006.08.26 Implemented as a decentralized solution by Porthus for Nawras, and by Gulf Business Machines/Telcordia for Oman Mobile.
 Palestine 2020.09.20 1 hour Free Cannot revert to the existing operator before 3 months (for prepaid users)/6 months (for postpaid users) of service to the new operator. [82][83]
 Qatar 2013.01.31 Maximum 1 working day – would be activated the successive day Free, operator can impose SIM card charges if any The National Numbering Committee, established by ictQATAR has taken care of the MNP management. Currently both Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar allows Port in and Port out for Prepaid and Postpaid Services
 Saudi Arabia 2006.07.08 Free Managed by the Centralized Clearinghouse Approach, The implementer and system integrator is Giza Arabia. Number Portability Clearinghouse services were previously handled by iconectiv.
 Senegal 2015.09.01 MNP goes nearly online, max −24 hours Free The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed and installed by Mediafon Datapro, administrated by Mediafon Datapro and Comet Afrique Telecoms .

Only MNP.

 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 collaborating with iconectiv.
 Tanzania 2017.03.01 Free
 Tunisia 2016 The NP Central data base (NPCDB) "NUMLEX" was developed and installed by Mediafon Datapro, administrated by national NPCDB Administrator.
 UAE Free Number Portability Clearinghouse service is handled by iconectiv.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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