Three calls on Ofcom to switch number porting system


Operator sends letter cosigned with TalkTalk calling on regulator to simplify number switching process

Three has put pressure on regulator Ofcom to improve the way customers transfer their phone numbers from one mobile provider to another.

The operator was joined by TalkTalk, The Federation of Communication Services and in cosigning a letter sent to Ofcom CEO Ed Richards claiming the current provider-led system of switching causes “considerable consumer harm”.

Three challenged the regulator to introduce new regulations that would see customer only deal with their new network when transferring their phone number between providers.

The letter said that “the UK mobile switching process is almost unique in Europe in requiring consumers to deal with two providers” which “makes it harder for consumers to secure better deals, undermines competition and leads to considerable consumer harm.”

Three and its partners welcomed Ofcom’s decision to introduce gaining provider led switching to the fixed line sector but asked them to deliver it to the entire market.

In closing, the letter said a new system could be done at “comparatively little cost” and would bring “an end to the hassle, double billing and breaks in service that characterise the system today.”