4/1/2010 10:45:00 AM
Ofcom speeds up mobile number switching
Ofcom confirmed today that consumers will be able to transfer their existing mobile phone number to a new provider in one working day rather than the current two days. The decision is still subject to a further short consultation.
The regulator also said that the Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) that consumers need to switch provider and keep their number will be issued immediately or within a maximum of two hours by text message.
Ofcom expects the changes to come into effect in the first half of 2011.
The move follows a six week consultation on legal implementation and timing of the proposal.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: ‘Our research shows that over 70% of consumers want to keep their mobile numbers when they switch providers.
‘Reducing the time it takes to transfer a mobile number to one working day and enabling consumers to obtain a PAC quickly, means consumers will be able to switch provider more easily without the costs or inconvenience of changing their number.
The regulator looked at four possible options ranging from a two hour process to one day with recipient-led or donor-led options in each case.
It has gone for the donor-led process within one day. This is where the consumer asks their existing provider for a PAC and who then passes that on to the new provider to start the porting process.
Ofcom is expected to issue a consultation later this year setting out its programme of research and its initial views on appropriate switching processes.