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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.

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