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What is geographic number porting?
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 00:00
Written by Staff writer
Geographic number porting means that you change telephone operators and take your 011; 021; 031 number with you! This applies to all fixed line (previously known as landline) numbers. It is based on the same concept as mobile number portability, allowing you to change your mobile service provider without changing your cell phone number.
As your business grows, your telephony requirements change too. You may need to: upgrade users; accommodate satellite offices or mobile users; obtain a VoIP solution or migrate your telephony solution to the cloud. You may even need to move operations to an entirely new province. Perhaps you simply wish to save on call charges. This would entail changing your telephony carrier.
Historically, any of these instances would mean changing your telephone number. The cost of which is greater than having to reprint your business cards and other marketing collateral. It would cost you a great portion of your loyal customer base who would think you’ve just disappeared.
With email, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, Four Square and SMS. There is no denying that our customers are spoilt for choice when it comes to contacting us. In today’s fast-paced electronic world, it is critical that if a customer actually picks up the phone to call, you are there to answer. If not… well, they’ll find someone who will.
THE POWER TO MOVE IS THE POWER TO CHOOSE
Geographic Number Portability (GNP) means that providers have to do more than simply attract new customers. They have to really work hard to retain them. GNP increases
within the telecommunications industry which results in reduced pricing, improved service level agreements and development of innovative technology. You, the consumer, benefit as operators feel the pressure to improve their services.
GNP is arguably the second most significant step in creating a truly competitive telephony landscape in South Africa next to the deregulation of the industry itself.
The Telecommunications Act, 2000 established the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (
). One of the objects of the Act is to regulate telecommunications in the public interest via this independent authority.
This is precisely why porting has been introduced in South Africa. You, the consumer, now have the right to choose your service provider without the fear of losing your ten-digit identity.
SUCCESS OF GNP
GNP came into effect on 26 April 2010 and an average of 7 732 geographic ports are completed per month. In the past four years there were 363 398 successful geographic number ports.
There are 17 networks which are actively porting geographic numbers, but you may only port your number between networks. Many operators who are allocated geographic number blocks from the authority have allowed re-sale options to smaller companies. This means that although you may be spending your money with another company, they may not necessarily own the network to which your number will be ported. Be sure to ask who the tier 1 provider is before you sign documents to port. Ultimately, it will be the integrity of their network which determines the quality of your electronic communications.
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