9/18/2008 5:49:00 PM
Vodafone wins court battle to stop faster porting times
Vodafone has won the court case against OFCOM and 3, effectively stopping the case to speed up the time it takes to port a mobile number from one network provider to another.
3 supported OFCOM in the fight to change the current legislation which the 3G network believes puts it at an unfair disadvantage because it is much smaller and hampers its ability to compete.
3 wanted to speed up the current porting period from seven days closer to 24 hours.
Furthermore, it wanted to turn the power balance of number porting on its head. Currently, a customer wishing to change network but retain their phone number must personally acquire a PAC code from their old network, to give to the new network. This current system means the ‘donor network’ is given the opportunity to offer a preferential deal to try to retain the customer, giving the ‘recipient network’ no second chance to compete for the new customer.
Today’s win for Vodafone meant that legislation concerning number portability for fixed lines was not changed. Legislation which Vodafone think is inexplicably linked to mobile lines.
A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: ‘Vodafone welcomes this unanimous judgement. It confirms Vodafone's view that any major change affecting all the UK's phone users needs to be fully thought through before firm decisions are taken to go ahead.’
Vodafone was supported by O2, Orange, T-Mobile and BT in its case against Ofcom and 3.
A 3 spokesman said today: ‘How is it that Vodafone, 3 and O2 customers, just over the sea in Ireland, have been able to move their mobile number between operators in around 20 minutes for many years. This means British consumers are in danger of being delayed yet-again in gaining the same right. It also leaves Britain as the only major economy where you still have to ask your old operator for permission to move your number rather than enabling the new operator to look after the process for you.'
He said: ‘Ofcom is trying to achieve fast, hassle-free mobile number porting to give UK consumers flexibility and choice, but the incumbents have consistently put up roadblocks.’
The incumbents are Vodafone, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and BT. Vodafone said: ‘Vodafone welcomes this unanimous judgement. It confirms Vodafone's view that any major change affecting all the UK's phone users needs to be fully thought through before firm decisions are taken to go ahead.’