Feeds

Moving mobile numbers should be instant

Ofcom calls for mass debate on central database

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ofcom has issued a second document on number portability, recommending that customers be able to instantly move their fixed and mobile numbers between networks.

Number portability, the ability to take your phone number with you when you change networks, increases churn - and thus competition - wherever it's been introduced. But while the UK was one of the first places to introduce the capability, it now lags behind many countries in the speed and complexity of the process.

Part of the problem is that numbers are allocated to network operators, and when a customer takes their number to another network, the original operator (known as the donor provider) is still responsible for forwarding connections to that number. If the donor provider suffers technical or financial failure, the ported numbers all get disconnected.

This system also relies on the donor provider agreeing to forward connections, as notified through the issuing of a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC), and processing that can take up to five days.

Ofcom would like to see a central database of ported numbers, which would be responsible for forwarding calls to the appropriate network and would allow networks to take responsibility for a number without waiting for the donor provider to issue any code or other paper work.

Of course, this would make slamming (moving customers onto a new network without their knowledge) a great deal easier, but Ofcom "expect[s] industry to take all reasonable steps to ensure that accelerated processes for porting mobile numbers continue to protect consumers from the risk of mis-selling and slamming".

The ability to instantly port numbers, and the deadline for building the system, is open to debate until 10 September, but Ofcom would like to see the whole system operational (for mobiles at least) two years from then. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.