1.1 Number portability enables subscribers to retain their telephone number(s) when they switch between communications providers (CPs). When a subscriber keeps their telephone number when changing CP the number is described as 'ported' from one CP to another. Calls that the subscriber subsequently receives are usually first routed to the CP that originally held the number being called. The call is then identified as a call to a ported number and 'onward routed' to the network to which the number has been ported.
1.2 Wholesale porting charges are levied between CPs to recover certain costs associated with the provision of number portability. General Condition 18 (GC18) sets out the terms that CPs must comply with in setting porting charges. GC18.5 states that any porting charges levied by CPs must, subject to the requirement for reasonableness, be cost oriented and based on the incremental costs of providing portability. GC18.5 also prohibits CPs from charging for certain specific types of costs.
1.3 Costs that may be recovered include the cost of conveying onward routed calls: between mobile CPs these charges are called donor conveyance charges (DCCs); and between fixed CPs these charges are called average porting conveyance charges (APCCs). CPs may also levy charges for some non-conveyance costs such as per number set up (i.e. the cost of handling and processing customer orders for number portability) and costs associated with making technical changes to a CP's porting service after it has been built.
1.4 Recent developments in the fixed and mobile sectors have led us to consider how CPs should set porting charges to be compliant with GC18. These developments are the 2013 Narrowband Market Review (2013 NBMR) and the review of mobile donor conveyance charges, which concluded in February 2014 (the DCC Review).