Number porting reduced to a day

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Ofcom has confirmed that from next year consumers will be able to transfer their mobile number to a new provider in one working day rather than the current two days.

The new regulations, which will require mobile operators to make changes to their systems and processes, will come into force on April 11, 2011.

They will also require the PAC that consumers need to switch provider and keep their number to be issued either immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by text message. Currently the time and way in which PACs are issues varies with some only issued by letter, which can take several days to arrive.

Ofcom had published a report in 2007 requiring mobile providers to reduce porting times to two hours from two days by September 2009. However following a successful appeal by Vodafone to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, Ofcom withdrew the requirement and initiated a fresh review of mobile number portability.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: “Ensuring customers can switch between communications providers by removing unnecessary barriers is one of Ofcom’s priorities for 2010/11. Being able to switch quickly and easily between mobile providers is an important part of healthy and effective competition.”

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