Ofcom forced to reconsider MNP plans after court defeat

22 Sep 2008

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has ruled against UK regulator Ofcom’s plans to decrease the time taken for mobile operators to port numbers from one network to another, British broadsheet The Guardian is reporting. Ofcom announced plans last year to reduce the time for mobile number portability (MNP) from five days to two hours by September 2009, claiming that the scheme would cost approximately GBP5 million (USD9.16 million); the CAT rejected the plans on the grounds that the regulator had failed to provide sufficient evidence to back up the anticipated costs. The move comes after Vodafone launched a legal challenge to Ofcom’s plans in January 2008, in which the UK mobile operator argued the real costs would be approximately GBP37 million per network; O2 and Orange also backed Vodafone’s challenge. Despite the defeat, the timeframe for MNP has now been shortened to two days, and a new company named UK Porting has been formed to act as a central database for all mobile phone numbers.

United Kingdom, EE, O2 UK, Vodafone UK