Number Portability allows consumers and businesses to keep their existing telephone numbers when they switch operators. It, literally, means that numbers are portable from operator to operator - whether that operator is a mobile, wireline, or VoIP service provider.
Number Portability benefits everyone.
It gives subscribers the freedom to choose operators based on criteria like services, price, and customer service. Their freedom of movement is not influenced by the inconveniences and costs that come with changing numbers.
It also makes it easier for operators to compete for customers, precisely because it eliminates a major barrier to churn - that is, reluctance to change numbers. Although this increased risk of churn is a concern among some operators, number portability has been a huge success around the world, because it helps to level the playing field, giving all operators more opportunities to grow their subscriber bases and revenues.
Number Portability is not required for phone services to work but it is an added convenience for consumers and businesses and a competitive differentiator for service providers. Without Number Portability consumers who wish to change service providers would not be able to keep the same phone number
It varies from operator to operator. Some operators are opposed to Number Portability because it does make the market more competitive; others support it because it opens new market opportunities and results in increased customer satisfaction. Interestingly, as number portability continues to rollout across the globe, operators have embraced it and the value it has provided to their subscribers.
Costs are absorbed according to regulatory mandate. Worldwide experience varies: in all cases the operators pay for upgrading their networks and IT systems; the receiving operator pays a one-time fee to the “Neutral Third Party Clearinghouse” or the Mobile Clearinghouse and in some cases the consumers pay a small one-time fee to the receiving operator.
For the consumer:
For the industry