Numbering regulations to be amended to ensure full compliance within one year
At a consultative meeting with the communications industry held last week, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) submitted its proposals to amend the current regulations that control so-called number portability between operators.
“The purpose of the Amendment to the Numbering Regulations is to make provision for the implementation of fixed and mobile number portability, and to ensure that all services and technology neutral licensees provide number portability and to set out additional requirements in the numbering plan for fixed mobile number portability” said the regulator’s Chief Executive, Festus Mbandeka in a statement released after the consultations.
Number portability is the facility in the software systems of communications service providers to accommodate the telephone numbers originating in systems other than their own. Number portability is a function of the National Numbering Plan which was published on 01 April last year.
This plan required a one-year transition period to enable all service providers to modify their number control systems to receive the numbers from competitors.
The transition period ended on 31 March this year. By then it was expected of all telecommunications companies to comply with the National Numbering Plan which ultimately will enable the full transferability of any number between mobile, fixed and even VOIP (voice over internet protocol) platforms.
Number portability is now in the phase where the regulator deemed it necessary to amend the regulatory framework, to ensure full future compliance.
“The Regulations will apply to service and technology neutral telecommunications licensees issued with one or more number licences for the provision of electronic services. The implementation of fixed and mobile number portability will commence within 12 months from the final publication of the proposed regulations” said Mbandeka.
“CRAN’s role and legal obligation is to ensure that all holders of number licences adhere to this numbering plan and implement number portability in accordance thereto and within the prescribed 12 months” he said.