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New Zealand number portability hits fifth anniversary with record numbers
Posted on 29-Mar-2012 11:12. | Tags Filed under: News.

Number portability, the scheme that allows you to take (or “port”) your existing mobile or local number with you if you move to a new services provider, will hit two big milestones in April, according to the New Zealand Telecommunication Forum (TCF).

The first milestone is that number portability will be five years old on 1 April. The second is that the total number of mobile numbers that have been ported is expected to reach 500,000 during April.

“Reaching this figure is a significant landmark for the industry – and for our customers,” said TCF CEO David Stone. “This is certainly an achievement that needs celebrating, for customers and industry alike.”

A further 300,000 local numbers have also been ported since 1 April 2007, taking the total number of ported numbers to 800,000.

Currently the average number of mobile numbers ported in a month is 12,895, with the average number of local numbers ported in a month being 7,201.

When number portability went “live” in 2007, there were eight participants using the central, TCF managed, Industry Portability Management System. There are currently 24 service providers listed in the system, reflective of the growth in competition in the market that has been facilitated by number portability over this time period. With that growth, the rate at which people are porting their numbers has increased too. Almost 13,000 mobile numbers are now being ported every month, compared with just 3,000 a month during the first year the scheme operated. About 150,000 mobile numbers have been ported over the last year.

“The fact that porting your number is relatively seamless, in the face of the technical complexity behind it, is due in no small part to the efforts of dozens of staff across the telecommunications companies and the TCF that work to make this a reality,” says Mr Stone. “I thank them all for their hard work.”

“At some point, we may see a levelling off in recorded porting activity as we reach a natural equilibrium with ported and non-ported numbers” he says. “But for now, we have our eyes set on the one million mark and, at this rate, that’s not too far off.”

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