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Phone number portability to stay

19 December 2016

The Commerce Commission has decided to continue to regulate number portability for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another five years. Number portability enables a customer to keep the same telephone number despite switching telecommunications provider. The regulation limits the time gap in service and the price the telecommunications companies pay each other for the switchover.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said that users support continued controls and the industry is comfortable with the existing number portability regulations.

"The ability of New Zealanders to keep their phone number when switching providers has been regulated for nearly a decade now and is a service consumers have embraced. Telecommunications companies have also recognised the benefits number portability brings to competition by removing a disincentive for consumers to switch to their offering,” Dr Gale said.

The final determination includes some minor changes to improve the efficiency and workability of number portability. “The changes we had proposed in our November draft determination, including ensuring consumers can switch providers on a Saturday and tidying up some terms regarding network updates, have been carried through to our final determination released today.”

A copy of the final determination can be found on our website.

Background

Local and cellular telephone number portability are both regulated services under the Telecommunications Act 2001.

The first number portability determination was issued in 2005 and took effect in 2007. It was then extended in 2010 for a further six years. The current determination was set to expire this month. The Commission’s decision today extends regulation of number portability through to December 2021.