Mobile number portability ("MNP") is the facility that enables consumers to keep their mobile telephone number whilst switching provider saving consumers the costs and inconvenience of changing their telephone number.
In April 2010, we decided not to change the way in which MNP works (retaining the current donor-led process) but to shorten the time taken to port a number to a new mobile provider from two to one working day. We also proposed rules requiring providers to give a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) to consumers who ask for it either immediately over the phone or by SMS within two hours.
To implement our decision, we proposed modifications to General Condition 18 of the General Conditions of Entitlement ("GC18"). We sought comments on the proposed modifications. Those changes would:
- require communications providers, at a minimum, to accept PAC requests by telephone;
- where a consumer requests a PAC over the phone, require communications providers to issue the PAC either immediately over the phone or within two hours by SMS (or by another reasonable method if the consumer asks, and the provider agrees); and
- reduce the porting time from two working days to one working day.
We also sought comments on whether six months was sufficient for mobile service providers to implement these changes (and asked, if not, whether nine months was appropriate).
We have considered the 10 responses we received to the April consultation, and as a result made some amendments to the revised wording of GC18.
Today, we are publishing this statement which confirms the modifications to GC18, with some amendments (set out in Annex 1). We will allow a period of nine months for the implementation of the revised arrangements from the date of publication of this statement.
Please note that the following statement contains amendments to paragraphs 3.57 and 3.58 correcting errors in the original version published on 8 July 2010.