Mobile number portability (MNP) is planned for introduction on 25 September 2001. From this date, customers will be able to change their mobile carriage service provider (CSP), mobile carrier network or both and retain their existing mobile service number.
The former ACA set the 25 September 2001 implementation date following directions from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Regulations regarding MNP can be found in the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 as amended.
MNP regulations provide for customers to retain their mobile service number when transferring from:
- a GSM network to a CDMA network and vice versa as well as between networks using the same technology
- within and between pre-paid and post-paid services.
MNP obligations fall upon all mobile carriers, mobile CSPs and any network provider responsible for routing calls to mobile numbers. This includes all pre-selectable long distance providers.
As well as providing MNP on 25 September 2001, all industry participants must ensure that their processes and routing solutions enable the Gaining CSP to provide customers using a ported number with and equivalent service to customers using a "native" number.
Gaining Carriage Service Providers have important obligations to provide correct information to potential customers when signing them up to a new service using their existing number. These obligations are specified in the Communications Alliance Ltd (formerlyACIF) MNP Industry Codes, which has now been registered with the former ACA. The former ACA is empowered to issue formal directions to non-compliant industry participants in relation to any registered code. General information provided to consumers should be consistent with the ACIF MNP Customer Information Guideline.
All carriers and CSPs are urged to ensure that all processes, including necessary bilateral arrangements for routing and porting processes, are in place for MNP well before 25 September 2001.