The Commerce Commission has today announced it will continue to protect the ability of telecommunications consumers to keep their landline and mobile telephone numbers if they switch providers.
Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson said that this ability – known as “number portability” – makes it easier for consumers to take advantage of better deals from other providers, driving competition in New Zealand’s telecommunications market.
“It’s really important for competition that consumers can keep their mobile and landline numbers when changing providers because it makes switching easier, which forces providers to continue to compete with each other on price and the packages they offer,” he said.
“Thousands of people carry their numbers across providers every week, and our consultation process has shown that there is widespread support for ongoing regulatory protection of number portability.”
Mr Gilbertson said that the new determination protects number portability for another five years. He said the determination is essentially unchanged from the last determination in 2016 apart from a change to support work by industry body New Zealand Telecommunications Forum Incorporated (TCF) to make it harder for fraudsters to use number porting to steal people’s numbers.
“Number porting fraud is a relatively new development in New Zealand where fraudsters steal someone’s number by requesting that it is transferred to a new SIM card, which they then use to access the victim’s bank accounts and other important information,” he said. “The sector is moving quickly to clamp down on the practice through work being led by the TCF and we’re pleased to incorporate that work into the regulatory settings.”
The current determination will expire on 19 December 2021 and the new determination will take effect on 20 December 2021. The determination is available on the Commission’s website.