Own-initiative pre-enforcement programme into Mobile Network Operators’ and Mobile Virtual Network Operators’ compliance with General Condition 18.1 in respect of the provision of Porting Authorisation Codes

01 July 2010

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative
Complaint against: Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
Case opened: 30 June 2009
Case closed: 29 June 2010
Issue: Compliance with the requirement to provide number portability as soon as it is reasonably practicable on reasonable terms to subscribers who so request.
Relevant instrument: General Condition 18.1 of the General Conditions of Entitlement

Following an extension six months ago, Ofcom is today announcing the closure of the GC18.1 pre-enforcement programme.
Ofcom has continued to monitor complaints across the industry and we are satisfied that the areas of concern have been addressed by the MNOs. Since opening the programme, industry wide complaints relating to PACs has also fallen significantly.

Whilst Ofcom notes improvements have been achieved across the mobile telephony industry, we will continue to actively monitor PAC related complaints. We have written to each of the MNOs informing them that should we see an increase in complaints, or identify concerns relating to any MNO, we will not hesitate to open individual investigations under GC18.1, where appropriate, details of which would be published on the Competition and Consumer Enforcement Bulletin.

Update note - 18 December 2009

Ofcom is today announcing a six month extension of our pre-enforcement programme to ensure that MNOs and MVNOs are complying with GC18.1 by providing PACs in accordance with the condition. The extension will take effect from 30 December 2009.

Over the last six months, we have continually monitored complaints across the industry and positively engaged with some MNOs to address particular issues. The extension of the pre-enforcement programme will allow us to ensure that identified areas of concern have been addressed and also enable us to continue to monitor monthly complaint data.  We will still consider taking enforcement action under this programme if necessary.

Text published when case was opened

Ofcom has launched a pre-enforcement programme to monitor compliance by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) with the requirements of General Condition 18.1 (GC18.1). The programme will examine specifically whether MNOs and MVNOs are providing Porting Authorisation Codes (PACs) in accordance with that condition which states:

The Communication Provider shall provide Number Portability as soon as it is reasonably practicable on reasonable terms, including charges, to any of its Subscribers who so request.

Under the pre-enforcement programme, we will examine complaints received by Ofcom's Advisory Team. Where there is evidence of potential non-compliance we will take appropriate and proportionate action under this programme. If necessary, we will take action through separate investigations of named MNOs and MVNOs which will be announced via Ofcom's Competition and Consumer Enforcement Bulletin.

If you are a consumer and wish to discuss this case please contact Ofcoms Advisory Team on 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333.
Case Leader: Rapinder Newton (email: Rapinder.Newton@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/01018/03/09