Ofcom has floated a proposal to simplify the process of moving your mobile phone number to another provider and cutting the transfer time to within two hours, a stark contrast to the five days it takes now.
With the two hour goal just over two years away, Ofcom has ruled that the mobile industry must reduce the time taken to a getting-close-to-reasonable two working days, starting on 1 April 2008 (why do UK organisations persist in using 1 April? It’s so open for abuse if problems arise).
Alongside that, they’re also saying that a central database should be built containing both fixed and mobile numbers that are to be transferred. The database would also enable calls to be routed directly to the new provider, unlike now where calls are currently routed via their former provider’s network, thus minimising the potential for interrupted service should a provider’s network fail.
Amazingly, Ofcom’s research found that only half of those who have been through the tortuous process of shifting a number, thought that it could be improved.
Never short of a quote, Ed Richards, Ofcom CEO, lets us all know just how useful Ofcom is, “The UK was one of the first countries to introduce number portability and this has helped create a competitive mobile market in the UK. However, the original process is now out-of-date. We believe that the industry should introduce a new system which will stimulate competition and encourage consumers to exercise choice between competing suppliers with a minimum of inconvenience.”
Sounds fair enough really don’t you think?