Vodafone takes Ofcom to court over number porting
And hits 3Q targets
Vodafone is mounting a legal challenge to Ofcom's call for mobile operators to allow their customers to shift their number to another network within two hours.
It is already possible to take your number with you when you shift network but it takes a few days. Ofcom said in July last year that it wanted the process speeded up - from being one of the first countries to get operators to offer the service the UK has fallen behind.
In November Ofcom set targets of porting numbers within two days by April 2008 and within two hours by April 2009. Ofcom told operators to co-operate in building a shared database so that ported numbers are no longer reliant on their old provider to route calls.
But Vodafone has made a complaint to the Competition Appeal Tribunal saying that creating the database would be too expensive and counter-productive because it could encourage slamming - companies making commission by shifting people's providers without their knowledge.
Mobile network "3" told the Times that incumbent operators were dragging their feet at the expense of the British consumer. More from the Times.
In other news Vodafone unveiled key performance indicators showing revenues of £9.2bn in the third quarter, representing growth of 15.8 per cent (4.4 per cent organic growth). Profits were boosted by the strength of the euro against the pound.
Vodafone had 252.3m mobile customers on 31 December 2007 and 3.1m DSL customers in 11 markets.
Voice revenue for the quarter was £6.3bn, messaging revenue was £1.5bn, data brought in £558m, fixed line £474m and other service revenue brought in £10m.
For the full year Vodafone expects revenues of between £34.5bn and £35.1bn and expects adjusted operating profit of between £9.5bn to £9.9bn.
The full statement of Key Performance Indicators is available as a pdf here.®
Porting in 5 Days?
Hehe. I wish it was 5 days.
Recently when I bought a new handset (you know the ones) I thought 'Oh - The PAC process will be really quick as I'm moving from O2 to O2'. 14 Days before it was ported.
And we've recently ported all our corporate handsets (circa 400 units) from Voda to Orange - likewise - with some ports having to have PAC codes regenerated because it took so long.
So if they can't do it in 5 days now, what's the chances of 2 hours becoming 2 weeks anyway? Makes no difference!
In Australia the time to port is measured in seconds. I think the system was designed to operate in less than 1! In practice, there's usually a short pause and I once remember waiting 15 minutes for it to happen and being quite peeved.
You go into a shop, they create your new account, ask for your number, do an ID check, press a button, the web page says "please wait", refreshes a few times and it's done.
Nobody in this country would tolerate going into a shop, buying a new phone and being told they can't use it for a week. And the phone companies would hate being in a position where they can't complete a sale on the spot. And your average punter is not going to understand (or be willing to be driven nuts by) going from the old carrier to the new carrier getting codes and stuff.
They go in, they buy, they walk out and by the time they've hit the exit door they've received their "Welcome to X" MMS message.
Has Anyone Been Prosecuted?
Seems to me that if slamming is the issue, then a few prosecutions might focus the mind better.
Someone above mentioned that the companies should discourage it - of course that's right. But a few criminal records for fraud would make people think twice.
This has happened with utility slamming (though that's more often incompetence than fraud - and I know, it's happened to me twice: never live in a converted flat in London!)