Paris, 31 July 2012
Starting on 31 July 2012, a new mobile number portability process is being put into effect by operators in the overseas departments of Reunion and Mayotte. It allows customers switching to a new operator to have their number ported in two working days, compared to 10 calendar days under the previous system.
This system is due to be extended to the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana in September, and thus complete the work that ARCEP has been doing on harmonising mobile number portability in the whole of France.
A mobile number portability process shortened from 10 calendar days to two working days.
The new legal and regulatory provisions, taken in application of European directives, have resulted in improvements to the system for mobile number retention that was introduced in 2007, including a one-step process that makes it easier for consumers wanting to switch operators but keep their telephone number. Subscribers must therefore make their portability request to their new operator, and under no circumstances cancel their contract with their old operator directly.
Mobile operators in the Reunion-Mayotte region have devoted considerable efforts to these improvements since September 2010, under the supervision of ARCEP. The rules for exchanging information between operators have been adopted to shorten the time it takes to treat number portability requests and to simplify the process for customers.
The approval stage for requests has thus been shortened to one working day, as has the time it takes to perform the porting process, in accordance with the law.
The time it takes to process a mobile number portability request has thereby been reduced to less than two working days, provided access is available (i.e. the SIM card is actually available), compared to the previous 10 calendar days.
A number that is common to all operators, "3179", to better guide customers through the process and obtain the operator identity statement.
The new system also requires that voice servers supplying the operator identity statement, or RIO (Relevé d'Identité Opérateur) - which is crucial to requesting retention of a mobile number - be available 24/7, through a number that is now common to all operators: 3719.
Subscribers are now given clearer instructions to guide them through the mobile number portability process when consulting this voice server. A recorded message informs them of the exact dates of their contractual commitment, which are needed to calculate any early cancellation fees they might incur, along with the general principles of the one-step procedure.
ARCEP also offers a reminder that any delays or mishandling of a number portability request can result in compensation for the subscriber - in response to a request to that effect from the customer and once verified by the carrier.