Nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) services are set to go live in China on 1 December, under regulations published yesterday by sector regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The service will allow mobile subscribers – excluding IoT users – to retain their mobile number when they move to a different service provider. The service will be supervised and managed by the watchdog and the local communications administrations of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, but operators themselves are understood to be responsible for providing the service. Under the new MNP regulations, operators are required to provide users with information regarding the porting service, including conditions and procedures as well as potential risks.
The regulations feature a general requirement that providers ‘jointly maintain a healthy and orderly market environment,’ and stipulates that operators cooperate to ensure service quality is maintained after a number is ported. A number of specific anti-competitive behaviours are also highlighted as forbidden, such as: refusing or blocking a number transfer without justification; creating special tariff plans for MNP users; and conducting marketing that targets users of a named rival provider or, more broadly, ‘vilifying other telecommunication business operators’.