Wednesday 23 July 2003
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was launched commercially on 30 June 2003, as stipulated in ART's guidelines of July 2002, following long discussions with all players, and in particular, with operators and consumer and user associations.
Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) is pleased with the effective opening of this new service, which allows consumers to take full advantage of competition among mobile operators, without the risk of being dissuaded by the desire to keep their mobile number.
At the launch, mobile operators working in Metropolitan France made public their commercial offers which allow all subscribers to switch mobile operators while keeping their number.
ART, which must ensure the service is implemented correctly, has noted that not all of the offers fully follow the guidelines. In particular, some operators have proposed an offer which allows clients to quickly obtain a line from a new operator with a temporary number which would be replaced by the ported number as soon as the porting and termination cycle is complete.
ART also noted that not all of the procedures related to these offers respected the rule arising from the guidelines, which stipulated that for portability to begin, the consumer must first terminate his or her contract and obtain a porting authorisation from the current operator. The purpose of this type of procedure is to avoid any contractual or financial risk for clients bound by a minimum time period, who might find themselves bound to two operators at the same time, if the porting authorisation were not granted.
At ART's request, these offers have been amended in favour of the client, by including a avoidance clause, if the client were refused a porting authorisation. ART has taken note of these improvements which better protect the consumer.
ART hopes to organise new discussions with operators and consumer associations in early September for an initial review of the new service, and to determine whether these offers are compatible with consumer protection.