Number Portability Clearinghouse

Happy customers in a free market: all benefits of number portability

Benefits of number portability
13 December 2023

You might be familiar with the concept of number portability. Simply put, it allows customers to keep their phone number when they switch telecom operators. The main advantage for the customer is clear – avoiding the hassle of a new phone number. But number portability (NP) offers more benefits than mere customer convenience. When implemented well, it could revolutionize the national telecom industry. Let’s talk about the benefits of number portability, and the hurdles to overcome.

How number portability drives liberalization

Introducing number portability disrupts the monopoly of one operator, paving the way for telecom liberalization. With number portability, customers no longer have to fear losing their number when switching operators. They get freedom of choice. That fact alone will drive competition between operators, a crucial element for a healthy business climate.

Number portability offers better chances for new entrants

With the telecom market more or less fixed, new players will have a hard time convincing customers to switch. Ultimately, leaving your current operator means losing a phone number you might have had for years. Number portability makes it easier for new operators to enter the market. It offers them a better chance to thrive, especially when their services are superior to the established operators.

Improved prices, services and network coverage

When one operator dominates the telecom market, there’s hardly a need to innovate. After all, customers have no other options. With the introduction of number portability, operators are forced to differentiate. If they don’t, their customer walks. 

Operators can distinguish themselves by either reducing prices, providing better customer service, or simply improving their products. They are also stimulated to expand and improve network coverage, to attract customers. All this will benefit the customer and the market.

How to get everyone on-board with number portability

With the proper regulations in place, operators can be obligated to implement a system for number portability. Smaller operators will be eager to get going, considering the obvious benefits. 

It may prove harder to convince operators who already dominate the market, because number portability could jeopardize their strong foothold. To get them on board, demonstrate clearly how a modern number portability platform is cost-effective, and can be implemented fast. If the process is overly complex, expensive or inefficient, it will inevitably lead to more push-back. 

Also make clear how number portability contributes to the brand image of larger operators. It shows that they are customer-focused and willing to accommodate user needs and preferences. Introducing number portability demonstrates a commitment to freedom and choice, which leads to more satisfied and loyal customers.

Speaking of the customer: if number portability is not widely known to the public, it's essential to raise awareness with end users through a promotional campaign. With operators and end users on-board, you will ensure a strong foundation for number portability.

Getting number portability right involves a number of international best practices. Download our free whitepaper to explore these best practices and use them for your benefit.

Download whitepaper ‘Best practices of number portability'

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