ANACOM wants to end the refusal of portability requests

ANACOM has approved amendments to the Portability Regulation with the aim of resolving the high rejection rates of portability requests, which have not improved in recent years and currently stand at 20% (22% for mobile numbers and 10% in the case of fixed ones), corresponding to 209 000  rejections. The new rules also aim to reduce the time it takes to change provider and cases of improper portability.

As matters related to the difficulties and delays in portability are among the issues most complained about to ANACOM and operators, which in several cases have led to the opening of administrative offence proceedings and imposition of fines, this amendment to the aforementioned Regulation was necessary. This establishes the principles and rules applicable to portability and is binding on all companies with these obligations. ANACOM previously held a public consultation, in which several entities participated: Ar Telecom, APRITEL, DECO, IP Telecom, MEO, NOS, ONI/NOWO group, and Vodafone.

The portability process, which allows a subscriber to switch operators while retaining their fixed or mobile telephone number, is now more expeditious and effective, and thus helps to promote competition in the sector. Note that since the introduction of portability (available in fixed networks since 2001 and in mobile networks since 2002) 8.4 million numbers have been ported.

Basically, certain processes are streamlined making flows between operators (the number-giving operator and the receiving operator) faster and more secure, reducing litigation between providers, to the benefit of consumers and business customers, who benefit from efficiency gains.

This greater simplification stems mainly from the fact that the electronic request for portability between providers starts to be processed through a portability validation code (CVP), which will be introduced within 9 months. This code will be generated by the providers of electronic communications services and will be made available to all subscribers, who must use it to apply for portability with their new provider. This measure makes it possible to optimize resources and simplify the relationship between the new and the old provider, contributing to faster and safer portability processes, because portability will be carried out without the need for operators to exchange the documents needed to port the number.

Under the new regulation, the recipient provider (new provider) must keep the document relating to termination of the contract and the sending of this document to the donor provider (the former provider) is now limited to situations of improper portability (not requested by the subscriber). In this context, compensation between providers is restricted to cases of number portability not requested by the subscriber.

Meanwhile, subscribers continue to be entitled to the compensation that is in force, of 2.5 euros per day, in the event of delays in portability and when the service is interrupted due to portability.

Operators should state that portability is done on a business day and that the announcement on calls to ported mobile numbers has to be requested.

Operators are required to inform their customers that portability has to be done within one working day of submission of the portability request.

At the level of tariff transparency, the free online announcement applicable to calls to ported mobile numbers is only provided when expressly requested by the end user. This change, to be introduced within 3 months, has been motivated by the growing proliferation of flat rate and all-net tariffs in which call prices are the same for all networks. Providers should advise their end users that if they want to keep the announcement they will have to expressly request it.

It is also determined that calls originating in the provider’s own network for the telephone service in which it  reports the price of communications to ported numbers should be free.