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Number Portability

18 Hydref 2018

Number portability is a regulated facility which enables subscribers to change their service provider whilst keeping their existing telephone number. Its purpose is to foster consumer choice and effective competition by enabling subscribers to switch between providers without the costs and inconvenience of changing telephone number.

Law and regulations

European Union

Member States are required to ensure the provision of number portability to subscribers pursuant to Article 30 of the Universal Services Directive (2002/22/EU) as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC.

United Kingdom

Powers to enable Ofcom to set conditions requiring communications providers to provide number portability are set out in sections 51 and 58 of the Communications Act 2003 (the "Act").

Obligations imposed on a communications provider to provide number portability to its subscribers and to provide portability to other communications providers are set out in General Condition 18 ("Number Portability"). Ofcom has got powers to enforce any breach of that Condition under sections 94 to 103 of the Act. Civil liability for breach of that Condition could also arise, but Ofcom must first give a consent for the bringing of such civil proceedings under section 104 of the Act.

Industry documents

Ofcom hosts and provide links to external sites which host industry owned and produced documentation concerning arrangements relating to the provision of number portability. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure that such documentation provided on this website (or links to the same) is accurate, no guarantees for the currency or accuracy of information are made by Ofcom. As Ofcom has no control over the documentation, information contained in it is provided 'as is'. Ofcom does not therefore accept any responsibility for the documentation and in no event shall Ofcom be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use of, or reliance on, any information contained therein.