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Update report on technical options for mobile number portability

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Australian Communi Authority


Media Release No. 55 of 1998-23 December 1998 -


The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has released its Update to its March 1998 Report on

Technical Options for Mobile Number Portability in Australia. The Update report, which was developed in

consultation with overseas number portability experts and Australian industry, is currently being considered by

the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

ACA Chairman, Tony Shaw, said, “This Update report outlines the results of the ACA’s examination of the

technical options for the introduction of number portability for mobile phone users. Overseas evidence

suggests that mobile number portability could be introduced more quickly by initially limiting it to a single

number only for a specified service and not where a range of mobile numbers are associated with a range of

mobile services."

The four countries closest to implementing mobile number portability are the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,

China (in Hong Kong) and the United States. Mobile number portability should be implemented in the UK and

the Netherlands by 1 January 1999, and in Hong Kong in March 1999.

The Update report finds that GSM-only number portability could be expected to be operational about 24

months after any ACCC direction. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standardised

technical solution, or solutions, will provide number portability for GSM services but might not be able to

provide portability for all types of digital mobile services.

Mr Shaw said, “If industry is able to adapt the ETSI standard to other (non-GSM) technologies, the

implementation timeframes for mobile number portability on those networks could approach those for GSM

number portability. The ACA favours a single implementation date for mobile number portability, were

portability to be required, provided that this does not cause any undue delay in the provision of GSM mobile

number portability.”

The report concludes that if the ACCC issues a direction to the ACA on mobile number portability, the direction

should encompass number portability within and across all digital mobile technologies. Such a direction should

. ^provide, if necessary, for the ACA to set separate dates for number portability within individual mobile

technologies and separately, and between mobile technologies in the Australian marketplace.

- more -

Level 13, 200 Queen Street, Mebourne, Victoria

PO Box 13112, Law Court», Melbourne, Vic. 8010

Phone: +61 3 9963 6800 Fax: +61 3 9963 6899

The report will be available from the ACA’s website at:

For more information contact: All media enquiries:

Ron Box Manager, Number Portability Information

Dianne Frey Manager, Communications and

Telephone: (03) 9963 6840 Telephone: (03) 9963 6966

Mobile: 0418 399 552