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Number portability has now moved one million New Zealand numbers
Posted on 17-Dec-2012 12:48. | Tags Filed under: News.

Number portability, the scheme that allows telecommunications customers to take (or “port”) their existing mobile or local number when changing service providers, has just recorded its one millionth number port, according to the New Zealand Telecommunication Forum (TCF).

“Reaching this figure is a significant landmark for the industry – and for our customers,” said TCF CEO David Stone. “The system turned five years old only in April when we also celebrated the fact that the number of ported mobile numbers had hit the 500,000 mark. That figure has now grown to over 600,000, that’s 20% growth in just eight months.”

Almost 400,000 local numbers have also been ported since 1 April 2007. Local porting has seen a resurgence in recent months with almost 70,000 new ported local numbers being added since April 2012.

Here are some numbers behind this process:

  • 1 April 2007 – the date local and mobile number portability was introduced in New Zealand.
  • $100 million – the estimated cost of implementing number portability
  • 49.3% - the percentage of newly ported numbers in November (the rest being ported for the second time or more)
  • 13,143 – the average number of mobile numbers ported in a month (Jan-Nov 12)
  • 7,944 – the average number of local numbers ported in a month (Jan-Nov 12)

    When number portability went “live” in 2007, there were eight participants using the central, TCF managed, Industry Portability Management System (IPMS). There are now 24 service providers that have access to IPMS, reflective of the growth in competition in the market that has been facilitated by number portability over this time period.

    With UFB comes the prospect of new service offerings and opportunities for customers, and that is where number portability is so important. By making it easy for customers to keep their telephone number whilst obtaining the service they want, number portability has solidified its position as a crucial piece of New Zealand’s telecommunications’ infrastructure.

    “The fact that porting these numbers is relatively seamless, despite the technical complexity of the systems that deliver it, is due entirely to the efforts of dozens of staff across all the telecommunications companies that are users of the system 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 will hit an equilibrium where the number of new ported numbers starts to level off and existing ported numbers start to make up the majority” said Mr Stone. “We may have hit that already, in November just less than half of the ported numbers were newly ported, the rest were being ported for the second time or more. We don’t know where or when the total number of ported numbers will reach their maximum, but we’re targeting the next milestone and, at this rate, I’m sure we’ll get their soon.”

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