Number Portability environment is constantly changing
Introducing of Number Portability (NP) within one jurisdiction could be driven by different drivers and obligations, but two of them usually have its significance in decision making. We should introduce NP because we must or because we want it.
First one is driven in most cases by some external drivers as legal obligations of specific country or part of arrangements in case of international industry or economy support. The second one is much more mature and it is driven by recognition to increase competitiveness of the telecommunication industry.
In both cases regulation and guidance is executed by National regulatory Agency (NRA) or Ministry itself meaning, a certain level of politics included. And when it comes to politics, the stakeholders of the process, in general operators of telecommunication services, are not being observed as equal, as they do not impose the same level of influence on political decision makers. And politics and influences are fluid in time.
On the other hand, number portability is completely new process within telco industry introducing centralised clearing house and reference data base concept, which means new entity on the market. Operators might have and they do have different strategies in early stages of number portability implementation, from “delay and destruct” strategy all the way to “full support” strategy. In next stages strategies diverts based on level of complexity of new process implementation within each of operator and future focus on business strategies using number portability as gaining or losing new subscribers.
Some operators execute a lot of efforts prior to new process launch hiring external consultants to achieve optimal internal process flow, possible, where others wait for launch and expect to change their processes on the way during learning best options for them.
So that is real life. Logical. But the requirements for selecting new entity on the market, that is Number Portability Clearing House and Number Portability Reference Data Base with all industry used processes, interfaces and rules are met some time prior of all mentioned strategies, influences, interests, process adoptions, operators learning curves and so on. You name it.
As there is a pressure from the stakeholders to change some of defined requirements in the process of introduction of number portability in the market, what to do? One is sure. To successfully launch such complex project, the requests for changes must be handled with diligence if they should be handled at all. Some argue, requirements are fixed until launch, afterwards let’s talk.
This is why regulators should be careful how to identify real requirements for project introduction knowing that modifications and new process introduction will and should took place in the future, as whole industry and its stakeholders are changing on a daily basis.