Industry association says 100,000 numbers ported in New Zealand
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 10:00.
Filed under: News
Shortly before lunch on a Monday in late July, a resident in the Auckland suburb of Three Kings became New Zealand’s 100,000th telecommunications customer to take their phone number with them when they changed service providers.
The 100,000th port was completed at 11:36 on Monday 21 July 2008. The porting customer was transferred to WorldxChange’s Fusion service.
“This is a significant landmark for competition and for the industry,” Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum CEO Ralph Chivers said. “Number portability empowers customers to choose the service provider that best meets their needs, while eliminating the cost and hassle of having to change their number.”
Number portability, which was introduced in New Zealand on 1 April 2007, allows customers to take residential or business phone, fax and mobile numbers with them when switching between providers Thirteen telecommunication companies currently provide number porting.
“The benefits are particularly significant for businesses that would otherwise have to change all of their contact information, stationery and signage, risking disruption to their operations,” said Mr Chivers.
The 100,000 milestone occurred in a month that set a new record for number portability, with 11,562 numbers ported. “In most months since number portability was introduced, there has been an even split between local and mobile numbers,” Mr Chivers said. “However, in both July and August local numbers jumped to 60 per cent of the monthly total, reflecting the initial uptake of local loop unbundling.”
Mr Chivers also pointed to the significant effort that has gone on behind the scenes to make number portability a success. “Unlike many other countries, number portability in New Zealand has been relatively trouble-free; thanks to the efforts of dozens of staff in the telecommunications companies, the TCF and our technology partner Hewlett Packard. I thank them all for their incredibly hard work, their dedication and their focus.”
The Telecommunications Carrieres Forum says an estimated NZ$100 million was spent on implementing number portability in the country, with thirteen telecommunications service providers currently participating in the process.