In the U.S., the number portability mandate has been one of the success stories of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 enabling competition and consumer choice. And, across the globe, governments and regulatory bodies have taken steps to stimulate the rapid implementation of number portability.
To describe this global phenomenon in greater detail, we are pleased with the release of the white paper, Number Portability Through the Global Lens, by Jennifer Pigg and Brian Partridge, both from Yankee Group. The white paper, commissioned by Neustar, looks at local number portability implementations in six diverse countries to see how their experiences compare to the deployment of number portability in the U.S.
While not surprising to us, the report finds that number portability implementations vary greatly with each country having its own “lesson learned.” In the United Kingdom, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Brazil, and India, differences in geography, population, subscriber makeup, technology, and implementation timelines have led to vastly different number portability implementations. As Jennifer and Brian conclude, “[y]ou can’t take a number portability implementation from one country and port it over to another.”
The white paper does recognize certain common threads that run throughout the country profiles, including the recognition that:
- number portability implementations are invariably highly complex;
- number portability is dependent upon an effective partnership between carriers and regulators; and
- number portability implementations, like all elements of today’s communications infrastructure, must be flexible to adapt to evolving markets.
This report is the second paper commissioned by the Yankee Group. The first, titled Telephone Numbers Are Portable; Is the NPAC?, looked into the role of the NPAC system in the United States. Similarly,a white paper by W. Bruce Allen, a Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania examined number portability in India in-depth, finding vast differences between the India and United States’ systems.
Download the full white paper, Number Portability Through the Global Lens.