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Commission proposes to continue telephone number portability

Media Release

Issued 3 November 2016
Release No. 48

Commission proposes to continue telephone number portability

The Commerce Commission has today released a draft determination proposing to continue the regulation of number portability services for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another five years. Number portability enables a customer to switch telecommunications providers while retaining the same telephone number.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said the draft determination included proposals to make some changes to the number portability terms to improve its efficiency and workability.

"Being able to keep the same phone number makes it much easier and convenient for consumers to switch between providers, which well over a million New Zealanders have done since number portability was introduced in 2007. This enhances competition in the market as it removes a disincentive for consumers to leave their current provider if they see a better deal elsewhere,” Dr Gale said.

“We are proposing to extend number portability through to December 2021 with some minor changes. These include extending the standard hours of operation to guarantee consumers can switch providers on a Saturday. We also intend to tidy up some terms to make it easier for telecommunications providers to undertake network updates.”

A copy of the draft determination can be found on our website.

Submissions close on 1 December 2016.

Local and cellular telephone number portability are both regulated services under the Telecommunications Act 2001.

The first number portability determination was issued in 2005 and took effect in 2007. It was then extended in 2010 for a further six years. The current determination is set to expire in December this year.

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