According to the New Zealand Herald, mobile operator 2degrees has confirmed that its has gained a total of 200,000 customers from rival cellcos Telecom Mobile and Vodafone New Zealand through mobile number portability (MNP) in the last two years. The figure has been revealed just days after Vodafone – the country’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers – admitted that it had lost 26,000 customers in the three months ending 30 June 2011. Previously, on 6 September 2010, 2degrees announced that 100,000 mobile users had ported their number to it in the year since its own launch, with 80% of them confirmed as former Vodafone customers. MNP was introduced to New Zealand on 1 April 2007, and allows mobile subscribers to retain their phone number when they switch between operators.
2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz commented: ‘We understand that a customer’s mobile number is part of their identity, and it should be portable, so they can take it with them, whoever they choose as their mobile provider. The 200,000th customer to port their number to 2degrees is particularly significant given the launch of 2degrees’ business [division] in July, because the last thing a business wants to do is change their number and risk losing contact with valuable customers’.