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The number may not be up for mobile portability

Thursday 11th November 2010

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The Commerce Commission is looking to push out for another six years its ruling that lets people take their mobile phone number when they change carriers.  

The regulator’s 2005 ruling on number portability expires next month and the commission is looking to extend the current framework for another six years, according to a draft determination. The ruling was to boost competition among mobile carriers, and has helped 2degrees, the newest mobile entrant, attract customers from dominant players Vodafone and Telecom. This year there has been 104,000 mobile phone ports.

“Number portability has been working well since its introduction in April 2007, and has enabled telecommunications consumers to switch providers,” Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson said in a statement. “All parties are in agreement that the determination should be extended.”

Telecom and 2degrees supported extending the determination for five years, while Vodafone and TelstraClear supported a two-year extension. The Australian and British companies pushed for the shorter timeframe due to uncertainties in the industry over the government’s ultra-fast broadband fund and the potential split of Telecom’s businesses.

The regulator knocked back those objections, saying it has the necessary tools to review a determination if the market shifted significantly.

Shares in Telecom fell 1.4% to $2.15, while Telstra dropped 0.9% to $3.39 in trading today.

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