The New Zealand Commerce Commission has released a draft determination which would see Local and Mobile Number Portability (LMNP) extended by a further six years. Number portability enables a customer to switch telecoms operators, whilst retaining their existing telephone number. On 31 August 2005 the Commission issued an initial determination on LMNP multi-network services, but this determination is set to expire on 19 December this year. The new draft determination continues the standards and systems set out in the original determination. These standards include the formula for allocating pricing for telecoms companies providing LMNP. Interested parties have been invited to make submissions on the draft determination by 9 December 2010. The Commission expects to issue a final determination by the end of the year. Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson commented: ‘Number portability has been working well since its introduction in April 2007 and has enabled telecommunications consumers to switch providers. All parties are in agreement that the determination should be extended. The Commission has issued a new determination to continue to give effect to the number portability service’.
In related news, New Zealand’s newest cellco 2degrees has continued to benefit from MNP in the most recent quarter – once again at Vodafone New Zealand’s expense. As reported by CommsUpdate on 6 September, 2degrees announced that 100,000 mobile users had ported their number to it in the year since its launch, 80% of them former Vodafone customers. During the three months ending 30 September Vodafone has lost a further 35,000 customers through MNP. Vodafone doffed its cap to 2degrees, with Matt East, Vodafone’s external communications manager conceding: ‘These results show that we are operating in a highly competitive market; clearly 2degrees is the most successful new entrant we’ve seen. We love a challenge and we will compete hard’.