November 29, 2015
Telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has introduced new rules which will make it easier for mobile phone users to keep their phone number if they move to a different provider.
Under the new regulations, consumers will be able to receive calls on their existing number within 2 hours of transferring to a different network, compared with 5 days at present.
Under an earlier ruling from Ofcom, mobile number porting lead times must be reduced from 5 days to 2 days from 1 April 2016. The two hour transfer time will come into force by 1 September 2017.
Under the new ruling, it is the industry’s responsibility to ensure that the new porting process includes adequate safeguards for consumers.
Ofcom wants the industry to collaborate on the development of a common database to handle calls.
The database would help ensure that calls are routed directly to a customer’s new provider, without travelling over the network of their previous provider.
Ofcom expects the new rules to promote competition in the UK mobile market and act directly in the consumer’s interest.