RE: MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY
mobile no portblity-Seminar-Report.doc (Size: 626.5 KB / Downloads: 80)
This paper introduces the concept of number portability, explains its different types and benefits, and the technical, operational, and economic issues that might arise out of its implementation in India. The specific issues such as ensuring tariff transparency, the National Numbering Plan, and regulating porting charges, etc. have been raised and will need careful consideration.
Number Portability will allow subscribers to change their service provider while retaining their old mobile number. Portability benefits subscribers and increases the level of competition between service providers, rewarding service providers with the best customer service, network coverage, and service quality.
Number portability is a circuit-switch telecommunications network feature that enables end users to retain their telephone numbers when changing service providers, service types, and/or locations. When fully implemented nation wide by wireline and wireless providers, portability will remove one of the most significant deterrents to changing service, providing unprecedented convenience for consumers, and encouraging unrestrained competition in the telecommunications industry.
Mobile number portability (MNP) requires that mobile telephone customers can keep their telephone number–including the prefix–when switching from one provider of mobile telecommunications services to another. In the absence of MNP, customers have to give up their number and must adopt a new one when they switch operators. As a result, customers face switching costs associated with informing people about changing their number, printing new business cards, missing valuable calls from people that do not have the new number, etc. Based on these considerations, many regulatory authorities have imposed mandatory MNP–or are about to require its introduction–so as to reduce customers’ switching costs, attempting to make mobile telecommunications more competitive.
The world’s first country to introduce MNP was Singapore in 1997, followed by the
UK, Hong Kong and the Netherlands in 1999. As of 2003, a number of other countries,
Especially in Europe, require MNP.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TA 96) tore down most of the significant barriers to unfettered competition in telecommunications. However, the inability of end users to retain their telephone numbers when changing service providers or types could potentially dissuade consumers from making such a change, threatening to hinder industry competition and growth. Congress’ addition of Section 251 (b)(2) to TA 96 addressed this obstacle by defining number portability, requiring that all carriers deploy it, and setting deadlines for implementation. FCC Docket No. 95-116 (In the Matter of Telephone Number Portability) and subsequent FCC orders and reconsiderations reinforced Congress’ mandate and set the machinery in motion to implement number portability.
The actions of both Congress and the FCC enabled consumers and businesses to choose new providers, services, and locales while retaining their phone numbers, thereby fostering competition in the telecommunications industry.
To ensure standardization across platforms for all participants, the FCC instructed the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to determine which number portability method to employ. Several options were investigated. The location routing number (LRN) method was chosen because it appeared to be the most efficient and is now successfully implemented in the wire line environment. The NANC then created the Local Number Portability Working Group (LNPA-WG) and empowered it to select the appropriate technology, create standards, determine operational processes, and develop and implement a deployment strategy. To fulfill its responsibilities, the LNPA-WG was granted the authority to convene appropriate subcommittees as needed. Subcommittees created include the National Number Pooling and Slow Horse groups, as well as the Wireless Number Portability subcommittee, which defines integration issues between the wireless and the wireline industries. NeuStar was named the Number Portability Administrator and operates the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC).