On July 1, 1995, Hong Kong formally ended the franchised monopoly of its telephony market and, at the same time, became the first government to introduce fixed-line number portability.
Since that date, governments and regulatory bodies around the world have pushed, prodded and incented carriers within their borders into implementing number portability for both fixed and mobile networks to the point where today, portability has become a key indicator or bellwether for market openness and consumer choice.
National number portability implementations are as varied as the communications markets they serve. In this report, we look at a sample of those implementations across the globe to discover how other countries’ experiences compare to number portability in the U.S., and what lessons, if any, can be learned as number portability continues to evolve here. The current term for number portability services runs through June 2015. Next year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. telecommunications carriers will decide whether to renew the contract with the current administrator, Neustar, or award all or part of the contract to a different vendor.