Investigation into GW Telecom Limited (“Gateway”) concerning its compliance with its obligations relating to number portability

05 April 2018

Complainant: Numbergroup Network Ltd (“Numbergroup”)
Investigation against: GW Telecom Limited (“Gateway”)
Case opened: 25 May 2017
Case closed: 23 January 2018 
Issue: Whether Gateway has complied with its obligations under General Conditions 18.1, 18.5, 18.9 and 18.10 in relation to number portability
Relevant Instrument: General Condition 18 of the General Conditions of Entitlement (“GC18”)

Update 5 April 2018

Ofcom has today published a non-confidential version of the Confirmation Decision issued to Gateway Telecom on 23 January 2018.

Update 24 January 2018

Ofcom has concluded that Gateway has contravened General Condition 18 in various respects since 16 June 2015. On 23 January 2018, Ofcom issued a Confirmation Decision to Gateway Telecom under section 96C of the Communications Act 2003 confirming its decision and imposing a penalty of £20,000 in respect of the contravention. The Confirmation Decision also requires Gateway Telecom to pay £1,000 in respect of its abuse of the porting process to the relevant customer in order to come into compliance with GC18.

A non-confidential version of the Confidential Decision will be made available as soon as possible.

Update 28 November 2017

Following an investigation, Ofcom has determined that there are reasonable grounds for believing that Gateway has contravened General Condition 18 in various respects since 16 June 2015. Ofcom has therefore issued a Notification to Gateway under section 96A of the Communications Act 2003.

Specifically, Ofcom has reasonable grounds to believe that Gateway:

  • between 16 June 2015 and 28 September 2017, failed to provide portability as soon as was reasonably practicable (GC18.5) and failed to provide number portability to the relevant customer in the shortest time possible (GC18.1), in respect of five porting requests; and
  • between 16 June 2015 and the date of this Notification, failed to provide reasonable compensation to the relevant customer in light of what we consider to be an abuse of the porting process (GC18.9); and failed to ensure clear, comprehensive and easily accessible information is available to its customers regarding porting compensation (GC18.10).

Gateway now has an opportunity to make representations to Ofcom on the matters contained in the Notification before Ofcom makes a final decision in accordance with section 96C of the Communications Act 2003.

Update 13 July 2017

We opened this investigation to consider whether Gateway has complied with its obligations under GC 18.1, 18.3 and 18.5 in relation to number portability.

On the basis of the information available to date, Ofcom has determined that it is no longer appropriate to include GC 18.3 within the scope of this investigation as the requirement imposed by that condition for completing the porting and activation of the relevant number ‘within one business day’ only takes effect once the necessary validation processes have been completed.

Ofcom has also determined that the scope should be extended to include GC18.9 and GC18.10. GC18.9 requires communications providers to provide reasonable compensation to a subscriber as soon as is reasonably practicable, where “there is an abuse of porting by them or on their behalf”. GC18.10 requires communications providers to provide each subscriber with clear, comprehensive and easily accessible information about how to access compensation and how such compensation will be paid.

Ofcom has therefore decided to amend the scope of the investigation against Gateway in accordance with the above. The amended scope will examine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that Gateway has failed to comply with its number porting obligations under GC18.1, 18.5, 18.9 and 18.10.

End of update

Number portability enables subscribers to retain their telephone number(s) when they switch communication providers (“CPs”). GC18 sets out the requirements that CPs must meet when dealing with number porting requests.

GC18.1 requires that communications providers provide number portability within the shortest possible time, including subsequent activation, on reasonable terms and conditions to any of its subscribers who so request. GC18.3(b) requires that, once a porting process is in place, porting of numbers must be completed within one business day of a request from the Recipient Provider to the Donor Provider. GC18.5 states that CPs must, pursuant to a request from another CP, provide portability as soon as is reasonably practicable in relation to that request.

Ofcom has today opened an investigation into Gateway’s compliance with GC18.1, GC18.3 and GC18.5. This investigation follows an allegation that Gateway has failed to respond to a porting request from Numbergroup in relation to a customer who wished to switch providers away from Gateway and retain their number.

Ofcom’s investigation will examine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that Gateway has failed to comply with its obligations under GC18.1, GC18.3 and/or GC18.5.

Case Leader: Sheryl Willson (sheryl.willson@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/01195/05/17