Mobile number portability within ten days will be launched on Saturday, 1st April in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana

Paris, 31 March 2006

Number portability is a decisive element in the play of competition which allows telephone subscribers to switch operators while keeping their old telephone number. For number portability to be effective, it requires the implementation of a flexible, quick and simple process.

Last August, legislative modifications made it mandatory to implement a one-stop portability and termination process, within a maximum of 10 days. An application decree then set the dates at which these changes were to be implemented:

- 1st April 2006 for mobile number portability in the départements of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana

- 1st January 2007 for mobile number portability in Metropolitan France

  • In the départements of the Antilles-Guyana area

Under the aegis of ARCEP, mobile operators[1] in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana have been working to ensure that mobile number portability can be launched commercially on Saturday 1st April 2006.

Under the new system, subscribers will be required to complete a two-step process:

1- Subscription to an offer with a portability request:
When subscribers buy an offer from a new operator, they can at the same time request that their number be ported. The operator is required to inform subscribers of the conditions for acceptance and the consequences of the request.

Subscribers then mandate the new operator to port the phone number and terminate the contract with the previous operator. Subscribers must provide the operator with:

- their mobile telephone number

- their first and last name and birth date

The new operator informs subscribers of the date (which must be a business day, from Monday to Friday) on which the number will be ported. Porting must be done within 7 to 10 days (unless the subscriber requests a later date).

Under this new procedure, anyone residing in one of these overseas départements needs only contact one operator, which simplifies the portability process.

2- Porting day
On the day set for the number to be ported, the subscriber switches SIM cards, and may then make and receive calls on the network of the new operator using the old number. The maximum permitted service interruption period is two hours.

The launch phase will be followed by a review, which will identify how the process and the quality of the service offered to subscribers can be improved. For this, ARCEP is counting on the responsiveness and motivation operators in Guadeloupe, French Guyana and Martinique have demonstrated to date.

ARCEP wishes to congratulate these mobile operators on having met an ambitious timetable for the effective commercial launch of this feature which has been eagerly awaited by consumers.

  • Progress report on the implementation of mobile portability in Metropolitan France in early 2007

Mobile number portability was launched in Metropolitan France on 30 June 2003. For mobile portability to be done within ten days by early 2007, as required by law, operators’ current information systems will have to be modified and a new version of portability (called “PNM v2”) put in place. To allow these changes, major works were launched in June 2005 by the eleven mobile operators concerned[2], under the aegis of ARCEP

- A central inter-operator entity dedicated to portability has been created

These works quickly highlighted the need for a centralised inter-operator solution. This type of technical architecture, an indispensable solution in a market, which includes many players and over 45 million subscribers, must:

- facilitate exchanges between operators for porting requests

- list ported mobile numbers to optimise traffic routing to these numbers

In order to create this technical solution, the operators created an economic interest grouping called the “Entité de Gestion de la Portabilité” (portability management entity) on 24th March.

ARCEP is pleased with this progress and invites Metropolitan mobile operators to continue their efforts in implementing internal developments which are necessary if the regulatory timetable is to be respected.

- ARCEP has submitted a decision on the means of applying “PNM v2” in Metropolitan France to the Minster of Industry for approval.
The significant progress in work has made it possible to establish what subscribers will have to do when requesting portability.
In this context, after consulting the appropriate consultative commissions, ARCEP has finalised a decision aiming to define the obligations of Metropolitan mobile operators. This decision will be submitted to the Minister of Industry for approval.


 

 

 


[1] Bouygues Telecom Caraïbe, Dauphin Telecom, Orange Caraïbe, Outremer Telecom and St Martin - St Barthélemy Tel Cell.
[2] Bouygues Telecom, Coriolis, Debitel, Futur Telecom, NeufCegetel, NRJ Mobile, Omer Telecom, Orange France, SFR, Tele2 and Transatel.

 

 


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