Feeds

UK mobile punters get swift network switcheroo ability

Still a major faff, though

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mobile customers can now change networks in 24 hours – if they can be bothered to negotiate the sped-up but still complicated process.

The accelerated process was mandated by Ofcom last year, but the operators have had 10 months to get their systems up to speed. Operators and should now be able to provide a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) code immediately (or by text within two hours) to their customers. The new operator should be able to connect the customer within the following 22 hours.

That's half the time it used to take. It's hard to imagine that the two-day transfer period has prevented many customers from changing networks, so tightening the process is unlikely to change the industry significantly, and it's a long way from the total reform that campaigners were hoping for.

There remain two significant problems with the UK's porting system. Firstly it remains donor-led; the network that is losing the customer has to provide a PAC code before the customer can leave. Operators are now required to hand over a PAC code immediately (on the phone) or by text within two hours. But extracting the information isn't always as easy as it should be, as this chap talking to Three demonstrates:

To be fair to Three it has apologised for this incident, and claims to be much better now. But this is still indicative of how the rules can be stretched.

The second problem is that numbers remain the property of the donor network, which forwards calls onto the recipient network forever. That means the donor network's termination rate is paid, hurting Three, which is supposed to get a bigger termination rate to provide a leg-up. That also causes huge problems if the donor network goes titsup, which is rare but has happened.

But the industry successfully argued that recipient-led porting would lead to customers being slammed - changing networks without their permission, as happens with gas and electricity suppliers every now and then - and that reforming the call-forwarding system would be ruinously expensive, despite the fact that Ireland and several other countries run such a system without any problems.

The reduction to single-day porting means everyone can claim a victory, despite the fact that it changes very little indeed. But if it was that 48-hour wait which previously put you off changing operators, then Ofcom has a guide showing you how to take advantage of the speedier process. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.