ART launches a public consultation on the use of telephone number portability

13 October 2000

  • What is "portability"?

Number portability lets subscribers—whether residential or corporate—keep their number when they move house and/or change operators, regardless of the type of number.

There are three main types of telephone number :
- Fixed geographic numbers (which in France begin with 01, 02, 03, 04 or 05)
- Fixed non-geographic numbers (which begin with 08)

  • The current situation

Currently, subscribers can keep their geographic number (which begins with 01, 02, 03, 04 or 05), when they change local loop operators, as long as they do not move house.

This regulatory and technical possibility currently affects only a few thousand subscribers out of over 34 million telephone lines.

  • The law stipulates that total portability implemented on 1st January 2001

The law stipulates that portability be generalised on 1st January 2001, in two ways:
- Allowing users to obtain from their local operator (which is currently France Telecom in the vast majority of cases) a specific number which they keep when they move house, then
- Extending the portability principle to include mobile numbers (beginning with 06)

Moreover, with the future arrival of new players on the local market (radio local loop operators, unbundling, cable operators offering voice telephony services), offers competing with those of France Telecom will multiply. Thus, more and more subscribers will be able to ask to keep their current geographic number when they change operators, as long as the new operator has put in place the necessary mechanisms on its network (number portability requires that specific routing mechanisms be installed on fixed and mobile networks).

  • ART launches a public consultation

This is why ART has launched a public consultation which will determine the conditions required to generalise portability: methodology, technical solutions, schedule, etc.

This consultation is intended for all sector players, whether operators, consumers, industry and value-added service providers, as well as anyone wishing to express an opinion on the subject. ART must receive contributions by 8 November 2000.


Linked documents

 The public consultation