Paris, 13 October 2004
Number portability lets the customers of any telecommunications operator change operators while keeping their old number.
Mobile number portability was implemented in Metropolitan France on 30 June 2003 following long discussions with players, and with mobile operators and consumer associations in particular. The choices made at that time took into account long-term objectives such as efficiency and consumer protection but also included more short-term considerations, such as the need to avoid delaying the launch of portability.
- Reviewing mobile number portability
ART is committed to ensuring that mobile number portability increases market competition and fluidity as much as possible, in the interest of consumers.
This is why, one year after the process was launched, ART is holding a public consultation to review mobile number portability in Metropolitan France and to identify possible major changes. The consultation requests feedback on the first 12 months and considers changes to the mobile market, such as the arrival of mobile virtual operators (MVNO) on the market in June 2004, and the modification of the legislative framework following the transposition of the "telecoms packet" directives.
- Improving the process in two stages
In this public consultation, which follows discussions organised with mobile operators and other market players in recent months, ART proposes areas of improvement for the process, in two stages.
- Very short term (early 2005):
- Reducing the number porting time (i.e. the time between when customers request porting from their operator and when their number is made available with another operator) to four or even two weeks, instead of the current two months. To do this, mobile operators will have to reduce their contract termination times to the same amount of time, since the two processes cannot be separated.
- Eliminate inegibility for "billing disputes"
ART proposes :
- Simplifying the process even further by implementing the "one-stop shop" system: under this system, consumers have just one contact, the new operator, who terminates the old contract, ports the number and arranges the subscription under the new contract.
- Improving the call routing technical process so that number portability will also work for new services (videophone, MMS, etc.) to be introduced by operators, when UMTS services are launched.
ART requests comments from interested players on this analysis and proposals for portability process evolution. Comments must be received before 13 November 2004.