Number portability option “falling” in most countries

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has failed in most markets, says Analysys.

Although local telecoms regulators have ensured that MNP has been in place for several years in many countries, and despite the high level of churn in the mobile industry, Analysys says there are few examples where more than 10% of mobile numbers have been ported.

In part that’s because of “significant barriers” to customer take-up, such as high charges for porting a number, long delays before porting takes place, limitations to data services after number porting, and sheer lack of awareness that MNP is available.

“One of the biggest barriers to MNP is that customers do not realise it is available”, according to Alastair Brydon of Analysys. “Even with the best technical solutions and processes in place, if regulators and operators do not publicise it then it will fail.”

Analysis also thinks that MNP does not necessarily increase long-term churn or cause price competition. “MNP can be a major benefit to mobile operators if implemented well and some have achieved significant market share growth by embracing it.”

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