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Telcos To Study Number Portability

Seven telecommunications companies are undertaking a study into allowing customers to take their telephone number with them if they change telecommunications service provider.

The six-month study will assess the net economic benefits to society of implementing and operating long-term number portability solutions. The study will be carried out by the Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG), an economics consulting and financial analysis firm specialising in network and regulated industries, in conjunction with Amos Aked Swift (NZ) Ltd, a telecommunications consulting company.

"The study will look into long-term number portability, which basically means the ability of telecommunications service providers to give telephone numbers on their networks the same level of service while allowing customers to change companies and retain the same telephone number," said Carl Hansen of LECG.

The companies involved are Callplus, Clear, IHUG, Telecom, TelstraSaturn, Vodafone and Zip Internet. These seven companies are parties to the Number Administration Deed (NAD), a group that manages telephone numbering policy and aims to develop efficient and effective numbering practices.

"The awarding of the contract for this study is the result of a lengthy negotiation between the telecommunications companies involved," said Liz Longworth, the independent Chair of the NAD Management Committee. "It is very pleasing to see this kind of positive outcome garner such support from all parties."

"Telecommunications is a dynamic industry and having this kind of research and analysis will enable the NAD to make informed decisions on a wide range of future developments around number portability in New Zealand," said Ms Longworth.

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