Number Portability Company
What is the Number Portability Company (commonly known as NPC)?
A company formed jointly by MTN, Vodacom and Cell C as a result of 2001 Amendments to the Telecommunications Act which mandated ICASA to: “prescribe measures to ensure that number portability shall be introduced in 2005.”
On 30 September 2005 Regulations were promulgated which mandated Implementation within 9 months i.e. 1 July 2006 In the event, due to the complexity of the porting process requiring extensive testing, and by agreement with ICASA, mobile number portability (MNP) was introduced on 10 November 2006.
NPC administers a Central Reference Database (CRDB) linked to the operators via a sophisticated network interface. The CRDB is an administrative database which used to track all porting process to effect the porting process from the intial porting request through to providing the new routing data to the operators so that necessary network routing can be updated. With effect From Monday April 26 2010 Geographic Number Portability (GNP) was Introduced.
NPC is jointly owned by Cell C, MTN, Neotel (now named Liquid Telecom) ,Telkom and Vodacom since April 20 2010.
NPC offers Mobile and GNP porting services.
What is Geographic Number Portability? (GNP)
The ability to transfer geographic telephone numbers between Network Operators as they switch from one provider to another. This generally refers to 01x, 02x, 03x, 04x, 05x. At this stage, it excludes 0860, 0800, 0861, 087, 085, service provider specific numbers (e.g. 1023, etc) and mobile numbers.
There are two porting applications available:
- Individual Number Portability (INP) refers to a single telephone number or a group of numbers consisting of less than 1,000 assigned assigned to a single account holder, being ported.
- Block Number Portability (BNP): refers to a group of 10,000 or 1,000 consecutive numbers, assigned to a single account holder, being ported.
Who can a customer port a number to?
Customers can only port numbers to a registered ICASA license holder. The Number Portability Company also makes a list of approved providers available on their website: http://www.number-portability.co.za/news.php
How much does it cost to port a number?
That really depends on the provider you choose as they may have different structures, however, in terms of the porting costs, and assuming one is porting from Telkom, there are two cost factors. A fixed cost to Telkom and then a cost per number, payable as a once-off charge to the Number Porting Company.
How long does it take to port?
From the time when the necessary infrastructure is installed and tested, the porting process takes roughly 3 to 4 weeks. The necessary infrastructure is dependent on the solution requirements and might add an additional 4 to 8 weeks to the whole process.
How do you know if a number you are dialling has been ported?
When you dial a number that has been ported, the operator from whose network you are dialling will indicate the number as ported by the sound of 3 short beeps before the call is connected to the new Provider’s network.
This is to indicate that the call is now going to another network and may be subject to different call tariffs. The beeps will be followed by a ringing tone if the number dialled is not busy.
Is there any downtime at the time of porting?
Porting requests follow a strict process defined and managed by the Number Portability Company (NPC). Once a port request has followed the entire porting process a final request “to update all routing tables” is sent out to all network operators, after hours. There should be no interruption in service.
If the client has existing contracts, what happens to those should they port the number?
Customers are required to meet their contractual obligations. When porting a number, or range of numbers, the customer is liable for all outstanding monies stipulated in the contract. Therefore, prior to porting any number, a detailed feasibility study is conducted and a suitable solution is presented.
Under what conditions can a customer NOT port their numbers?
You may not port the telephone number(s) if:
- the customer has ported the same telephone number(s) within the last two months;
- the customers’ telephone service has been “suspended” by your current Network Operator from making or receiving calls, because you have not paid your bill, as per the standard policy of your current Network Operator;
- the customers’ telephone number is one of those which are not allowed to be ported, for example it might be a Toll-free number or another telephone number that is not a geographic number;
- the customers’ has provided an incorrect account number for your telephone service at the time of making the port request;
- the customers is not the legitimate owner of the telephone number(s);
- the customer is requested porting of a block of telephone numbers, but there are telephone numbers in that block allocated to other subscribers; or
- the customer is relocating beyond your original Network Operator’s exchange boundaries.
- You are not allowed to request porting to change to yet another Network Operator, while your initial porting request is still in progress.
Information from Telkom regarding PRI’s, BRI’s and Lines
Information regarding PRI’s
- Individual numbers may be ported from a PRI.
- A minimum of a block of 100 contiguous numbers must remain on a Telkom PRI service if a customer wants to keep the Telkom PRI active.
- A customer may port as many numbers from a PRI as they wish, however, if 100 contiguous numbers are not left on the PRI, the customer must cancel the PRI simultaneously.
- If the PRI is provided without a contact, or the contract has expired, no cancellation fees will be applicable.
Information regarding BRI’s
- Individual numbers may be ported from a BRI.
- A minimum of a block of 20 contiguous numbers must remain on a Telkom BRI service if a customer wants to keep the Telkom BRI active.
- A customer may port as many individual numbers from a BRI as they wish, however, if 20 contiguous numbers are not left on the BRI, the customer must cancel the BRI simultaneously.
- Should the BRI be cancelled while still in contract, the customer will be liable for any cancellation fees defined in the contract.
- If the BRI is provided without a contact, or the contract has expired, no cancellation fees will be applicable.
Information regarding Analogue Lines
- Individual numbers may be ported and the customer must cancel the line simultaneously.
- Should the line be cancelled while still in contract, the customer will be liable for any cancellation fees defined in the contract.
- If the line is provided without a contact, or the contract has expired, no cancellation fees will be applicable.
- When a line is cancelled all Telkom services (e.g. ADSL) running over that line are also cancelled.
- Information regarding Geographic Re-location (ICASA)
- If a company wants to relocate, it will not be able to port its numbers if:
- the new address is outside of the original geographic area exchange code of the block operator (e.g. Telkom as the block operator – 011 to 012); or o the new address falls within a different exchange area of the block operator within the same geographic area code (e.g. Telkom as the block operator – 011 883 to 011 452).
What documentation is required to process a Porting application?
A completed Service Application from the new Network Provider, a Letter of Authorisation, the client’s latest Telkom/Other Operators bill, a copy of their ID and a certified copy of their company’s letterhead are required to initiate the process.
Geographic Number Porting process for ECNS Licensees
The Number Portability Company (the NPC) has provided the following direction on how to register and attain accreditation with it for Geographic Number Porting (GNP) by ECNS licensees.