Seminar on Mobile Number Portability

Ram Pothuraju

Mobile Number Portability


Number Portability will allow subscribers to change their service provider while retaining their old mobile number. Portability benefits subscribers and increases the level of competition between service providers, rewarding service providers with the best customer service, network coverage, and service quality.
Description of Mobile Number Portability

Number portability is a circuit-switch telecommunications network feature that enables end users to retain their telephone numbers when changing service providers, service types, and/or locations. When fully implemented nation wide by wireline and wireless providers, portability will remove one of the most significant deterrents to changing service, providing unprecedented convenience for consumers, and encouraging unrestrained competition in the telecommunications industry.

Mobile number portability (MNP) requires that mobile telephone customers can keep their telephone number-including the prefix-when switching from one provider of mobile telecommunications services to another. In the absence of MNP, customers have to give up their number and must adopt a new one when they switch operators. As a result, customers face switching costs associated with informing people about changing their number, printing new business cards, missing valuable calls from people that do not have the new number, etc. Based on these considerations, many regulatory authorities have imposed mandatory MNP-or are about to require its introduction-so as to reduce customers' switching costs, attempting to make mobile telecommunications more competitive

Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC)

The FCC's First Report and Order, Docket No. 95-116 describes the third-party, neutral database administration function in support of number portability. Called the number portability administration center (NPAC), this database is designed to receive information from both the incumbent and new service providers, validate the information received, and download the new routing information when an activate message is received indicating that the customer has been physically connected to the new service provider's network.

Each ported number is a subscription version within NPAC that contains the new service provider's ID, the location routing number (LRN) associated with the new switch, and routing data associated with additional services the customer may request (for example, line information database (LIDB), calling name delivery. The NPAC also maintains a record of all ported numbers and a history file of all transactions relating to the porting of a number. The NPAC provides audit functionality and the capability to retransmit subscription version information to local service management systems under certain conditions. The NPAC is not involved in real-time call processing. The NPAC provides management, administration, oversight, and integration of NPAC operations, hardware and software development, and all maintenance related functions.

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