ICASA review of Number Portability Regulations

[15 September 2018] After publishing finalised Number Portability Regulations on 28 March 2016 – which have not yet come into force – it appears that ICASA has indicated that it will publish “the Correct Number Portability Regulations” and an accompanying reasons document by no later than 28 September 2018.

The need for this “correction” stems from a threat by Cell C to institute review proceedings based on what it believes are several unlawful aspects of the regulations as published.

[2 August 2018] ICASA has given notice to interested parties that it is undertaking a review of the Ordering System Specification Regulations 2010 to ensure they are aligned with the new number portability regime. ICASA will meet with licensees during August to get this process started.___

Our understanding is that this process will need to be completed before the Number Portability Regulations 2018 come into force.

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[28 March 2018] ICASA has finalised its review of the existing regulations and published a new set of regulations governing number portability in South Africa.

Number Portability Regulations 2018

Note that these regulations will only to come into force on a future date – ICASA will publish a further notice providing 60 days notice of the date they will take effect.

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[14 March 2018] ICASA’s Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) will be hearing a matter lodged by Transnet against Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) due to an alleged refusal by MTN to port certain numbers to another mobile network operator in line with the Number Portability Regulations.

The CCC will be hearing this matter on an urgent basis, and a public hearing will be held at the ICASA head office (block C presentation room)  at 10h00 on 19 March 2018. Any media enquiries can be directed to Paseka Maleka (pmaleka@icasa.org.za / 011 566 3455).

MTN CCC hearing – Media Release

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[9 March 2018] Submissions made in respect of the Draft Number Portability Regulations 2017 can be found below:

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[28 February 2018] ICASA will be holding public hearings in respect of the Draft Number Portability Regulations on 12 March 2018 at the Authority’s offices. The schedule can be viewed at the following link:

Schedule – Draft Number Portability Public Hearings

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[4 December 2017] ICASA has published the Draft Number Portability Regulations 2017 for comment.

Draft Number Portability Regulations 2017

ICASA publishes the draft Number Portability Regulations for public comments

Submissions are due 29 January 2018 and may be sent per email to lzwane@icasa.org.za for the attention of Mr. Lordwill Zwane.

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[26 July 2017] ICASA has published a media release on the report, which can be found at the link below:

Media Release

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[1 July 2017] ICASA has published the findings of its review of the number portability regulatory regime.

Number Portability Public Inquiry Findings Report June 2017

The executive summary of the findings is set out below:

These are the summary of the findings which are dealt with in detail in section 2 below:

  • There is strong support for the current number portability process and the role of the NPC as the central database provider (CRDB). However, all stakeholders recognise that there are performance issues that need to be addressed with a better enforced process.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) are scarce. In particular, the Authority has only access to limited information through the NPC. Considering the under-performance of mobile portability and the issues on process inefficiencies that are recognised by all stakeholders, there is a need for sufficient information to be available to the Authority and for possible dissemination of this information to all stakeholders.
  • Legacy issues have hindered geographic number portability in the past. There is, however, a strong case to lift some of the area number constraints to allow for portability based on ON codes. All stakeholders also agree that the block sizes can be reduced for increased efficiency in the process. However, it may be prudent to try and preserve the number block sizes through a different pricing mechanism.
  • Stakeholders generally agree that the scope of fixed portability should be extended to non-geographic numbers – this is available in the majority of  jurisdictions.
  • The cost per port is generally considered to be efficient. However, there may be a need to introduce a tiered structure for geographic number portability, where fees are levied per ported block rather than per individual number, resulting in an overall lower cost (than currently) to port number blocks.
  • Times to port could be reduced – in particular, real-time port is becoming a standard feature for mobile portability. However, stakeholders generally agree that times to port are currently adequate and that other issues should be addressed first (notably to streamline the escalation process and to improve the updating of routing tables). A reduction of the times to port could be a medium-term target.
  • The risk of fraud or slamming has become a key concern for the industry. Some operators consider that this justifies a donor-led confirmation request. However, in line with international experience, an option to consider is adjusting the current portability process, adding an initial step whereby the CRDB sends a PIN to the customer wishing to port as an additional safety measure to ensure that the port request is not fraudulent
  • Some adjustments to the current process have been proposed by the operators, including the port lock period, the causes to reject ports, winback activities and tariff transparency methods. The current process is aligned with international standards and only minor changes and clarifications should be considered.
  • Customer complaints and issue escalation procedures ought to be revisited. From the review, the Authority might be required to play a more active role as an arbitrator to ensure better coordination within
    the industry.
  • Enforcement of existing regulations could limit the issues around routing information.
  • The setting up of a technical committee with industry representatives and effective governance rules would be an important step to ensure a quicker response to change requirements. The Authority’s role would be to actively coordinate the committee’s work and remain the only entity that can introduce changes to the process.

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[20 February 2017] Responses made to the questionnaire can be found below:

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[9 February 2017] The schedule of oral presentations in response to the inquiry into number portability regulations can be found below. The hearings will take place on 16 February 2017 at ICASA’s head office.

Schedule of oral presentations

Notice of hearings

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[27 August 2016] ICASA has given notice that it will conduct an inquiry into the existing number portability regulatory framework in order to assess whether there are any regulatory gaps given the significant increase in the number of licensees with access to numbering resources from the National Numbering Plan.

ICASA Inquiry Number Portability Regulations

Submissions must be in the format provided as an annexure to the notice. These are to be submitted to Mr Lordwill Zwane (lzwane@icasa.org.za / cc. numberportability@icasa.org.za) by 16h30 on 28 October 2016.

2018-09-15T14:33:00+00:00September 15th, 2018|Numbering, snippets|