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Industry Celebrates 100, 000th ported number

Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum Media Release

For immediate release

Telecommunications Industry Celebrates 100, 000th ported number

Auckland, 4 September 2008


Shortly before lunch on a Monday in late July, a resident in the Auckland suburb of Three Kings became New Zealand’s 100,000th telecommunications customer to take their phone number with them when they changed service providers.

“This is a significant landmark for competition and for the industry,” Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum CEO Ralph Chivers said. “Number portability empowers customers to choose the service provider that best meets their needs, while eliminating the cost and hassle of having to change their number.”

Number portability, which was introduced in New Zealand on 1 April 2007, allows customers to take residential or business phone, fax and mobile numbers with them when switching between providers Thirteen telecommunication companies currently provide number porting.

“The benefits are particularly significant for businesses that would otherwise have to change all of their contact information, stationery and signage, risking disruption to their operations,” said Mr Chivers.

The 100,000 milestone occurred in a month that set a new record for number portability, with 11,562 numbers ported. “In most months since number portability was introduced, there has been an even split between local and mobile numbers,” Mr Chivers said. “However, in both July and August local numbers jumped to 60 per cent of the monthly total, reflecting the initial uptake of local loop unbundling.”

Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson welcomed this trend. “The ITU has recognised that number portability is a fundamental pre-requisite to competition in a telecommunications market,” Dr Patterson said. “Number portability is essential to the success of local loop unbundling, as is evidenced by the surge in July and August as commercial unbundled offerings hit the market.”

Mr Chivers also pointed to the significant effort that has gone on behind the scenes to make number portability a success. “Unlike many other countries, number portability in New Zealand has been relatively trouble-free; thanks to the efforts of dozens of staff in the telecommunications companies, the TCF and our technology partner Hewlett Packard. I thank them all for their incredibly hard work, their dedication and their focus.”

“This is a milestone worth celebrating.”


ENDS


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