Paris, 4 July 2007
Beginning 5 July, a new, simpler and faster mobile number portability process will be available in the département of Réunion and the Overseas community of Mayotte. This new mobile number maintenance system lets users port their mobile number within a maximum of 10 days by contacting only their new operator.
After the introduction of equivalent systems in the Antilles-Guyana area in April 2006 and in Metropolitan France in May, the opening of this new system concludes the modernisation process for mobile number portability mechanisms for the entire national territory begun in 2005.
Now, all the systems put in place in these various areas have to be stabilised by the end of 2007 so that a review phase can be begun in 2008.
Number portability allows customers to switch operators while keeping their old phone number. This function is a key element in allowing consumers to fully benefit from competition. It must be quick and simple to implement if consumers are to effectively be able to exercise their rights.
Operators in the Réunion-Mayotte area worked to create a process comparable to that which was launched in Metropolitan France on 21 May with the development of an interactive voice server (SVI) which informs users of the expiry date of any minimum commitment periods and of the operators identity number (RIO), which allows for the secure identification of the ported mobile number.
The main characteristics of this new mobile number portability process are as follows:
- A single contact for customers. The new operator, chosen by the customer, takes charge of all necessary steps:
- taking out the new contract
- porting the mobile number concerned
- cancelling the contract with the old operator
- A maximum period of ten days to cancel the old contract, and effect number portability: the requested mobile number porting and contract termination are concomitant and must be done within a maximum of ten days, unless otherwise requested by the customer. In practice, the number will be ported within six business days (from Monday to Friday) as requested by the customer.
Beginning 5 July, customers wishing to keep their mobile telephone number when changing operator no longer have to contact their operator to request contract termination even if their contract requires that they do so or if it requires that they respect certain forms (i.e. registered mail) or specific deadlines (termination notice greater than ten days, for example). On the other hand, in the case of simple termination, i.e. without number portability, the customer contacts the operator he wishes to leave and confirms the request according to the forms and within the deadlines required by the contract.
ARCEP emphasises that if the customer is still "committed" to the operator he or she wishes to leave by contractual requirements regarding a minimum contract period; these remain completely valid and may be opposed to the customer in the case of termination of portability. The operator may thus invoice amounts due under these clauses; for example, monthly subscription payments remaining due until the end of the contract term. Therefore, ARCEP invites customers to check whether they are subject to such terms of commitment before planning to switch operator by contacting the operator’s voice server information service (cf. useful numbers) free of charge.
This one-stop mobile number portability launch phase is a modernisation and stabilisation phase of the systems put in place in the various areas which will have to be completed by the end of 2007. This launch phase will be followed in 2008 by a review phase in order to analyse the changes made by the new portability process and to improve them if required for the consumer’s benefit.
How to switch mobile operator while keeping one’s number beginning Thursday 5 July 2007 in Réunion-Mayotte?
1- Buying an offer with portability request
The customer contacts the new operator directly:
- to buy a new offer
- to ask to keep his or her old mobile number
- to authorise the operator to cancel the contract between the customer and the old operator he or she wishes to leave
The minimum time allowed to port the mobile number is 6 business days (Monday to Friday) as requested by the customer. Porting is done from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. So, a mobile number portability request made on Saturday 7 July will be effective on Monday 16 July. The customer may request a porting date beyond this time.
The effective porting of the number results in the automatic cancellation of the contract between the customer and the old operator. The customer is no longer required to cancel the contract with the old operator.
The operators will open voice servers (with the sending of a confirmation SMS) which will inform every consumer of the following at no charge:
- The operator identity number ("RIO"): a unique number which better identifies the object lines of the request. The RIO will be required when a portability request is made
- The name of the contract holder: only the contract holder or a person duly authorised by the holder may request number portability
- The existence of any remaining minimum contract requirement: this information will inform the customer of whether any early contract termination charges will have to be paid
List of phone numbers and web sites from which customers of mobile operator can obtain their operator identity number (RIO):
These servers will be open beginning 5 July; calls are free from customers’ mobile phones.
Customers no longer having their mobile phone may obtain this information from customer service.
For business customers:
Business customers may obtain their RIO from the SVI.
SRR business customers may also obtain their RIO via personalised web access: https://pol.sfr.fr/viewLogin.do
On a temporary basis and until personalised web access is available, business customers of Orange Réunion may obtain their RIO via customer service which will send the RIO by post or e-mail on request.
2- The day of number porting
On the day on which the number will be ported (Monday to Friday), the subscriber may make and receive calls on the network of the new operator using the old phone number as soon as he or she has switched SIM cards. The maximum service interruption period is four hours.