back to article UK faces long wait for faster number porting

Vodafone has blocked Ofcom's proposal to reform the UK number portability system, citing errors in the regulator's paperwork and methodology rather than any failing in the proposal itself. With the proposal now lost somewhere between court and quango, UK consumers continue to be stuck with a number porting system that seems to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    taking the piss (where's the icon)

    So Vodaphone have implemented a system without profound and rigorous scrutiny and cannot be sure that benefits of such a system exceed the cost?

    In other news, the civil 'servants' and ofcom combine to protect their future salaries at BigMobileCo:

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Shock! Horror! Ofcom is incompetent!

    Up there with the FSA and the SEC for this year's "not fit for purpose" prize. The number is "owned" (I don't think id's can technically be owned but that's another matter) by the regulator and not the chuffing network who'd probably been auctioning the most "desirable" ones.

    And there already is a database for which number is using which network and all the national networks and many international ones subscribe to it to get their daily updates. Number portability has already been demonstrated in court to be an essential part of competition and I thought this was a European judgement. Got to love British regulators: let the companies fuck the customer as long as possible.

  3. Olly Simmons
    Thumb Down

    Does it just keep the last jump?

    I've changed networks 3 times now and kept the number. Does that mean my calls travel through 3 other networks before they hit my current? That's insane!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    My Mr Biguglybloke proposal

    I suggest that the meetings to discuss this have a strategically positioned big bloke with a cluebat behind each manager in the room. Whenever a manager makes a statement indicating that they don't believe that people want fast number porting, or that it will be too expensive, the appropriate Mr Biguglybloke applies clue at a low audio frequency rate until the objection is withdrawn and the manager in question agrees to do what is being asked if he can go and lie down somewhere dark and quiet until his headache has gone away.

    Paris, she knows why you need to be able to change comms provider quickly!

  5. Bassey

    I see problems

    The Isle of Man - a much smaller market, often used as a test bed by the UK - has been in the "process" of implementing a centralised number system for at least two years now and there is still no end in sight. Either it is a lot more complicated than OFCOM are suggesting, or it is far too easy for the incumbents to hobble the whole process in order to cling on to their advantage. Obviously, I couldn't possibly comment as to which of the two I believe to be the case!

    I would not be at all surprised to see the UK go the same way and, indeed, with vodaphones comments this seems to have started already.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Such a rip off

    I worked with a Telco (who was part of the Voda group at the time) when number portability was introduced, but in another European country.

    It was a fairly simple project and now people can move their numbers around within a few hours, or mostly minutes. The numbers are managed by a central database so there are no call charges passed around.

    I didn't realise this still hadn't been done in the UK. I can't believe we're so far behind and being ripped off again!

  7. andy

    It would be nice if...

    ... it was possible to do a similar thing with domain names and hosting. You buy a domain name (phone number) from a registrar, and it's yours for as long as you renew it. You can map the domain (number) to any hosting (network provider) of your choosing.

    But there are loads of reasons why I guess that's not practical.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Vodafone (and the others) for being pedantic tosspots.

    And Ofcom for being... well, for just being useless tosspots (as usual).

    Mines the one with the two old baked bean cans joined with a bit of string in the pocket.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The real reason is that Vodafone has solved the tromboning issues thus saving several million a year whilst still raking it in from other providers.

    The longer the current solution is in place (and other providers don't find solutions to tromboning) the longer Vodafone has the upper hand...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, the call *setup* process uses 3 different networks, the call itself will be routed as efficiently as possible.

    If you are on O2 & called by another O2 number you will end up only using O2's network for your incoming call but the process of finding where your mobile is will result in charges payable by the incoming calls provider network (O2 in this case) to 2 others (it won't charge itself of course!).

  11. James

    Porting within a network

    Is as fast and easy as it is supposed to be (at least with Orange). I've moved my number a few times and it takes about 5 minutes max, the person on the phone says it could take up to an hour but usually only a couple of minutes.

    Its another way to lock customers to your network, people now have so many contacts and people ringing them all the time that it would be impossible to let everyone know that you have changed numbers. So they stick with their current network. Bastards.

    Although I know many of my friends simply don't realise you can number port. I've had the same number since I first got a mobile phone and people are like how do you do that? Duh. Ask them.

  12. Matt

    Go centralised...

    Too often my Orange phone number (on O2) can't be connected to, because there are 2 networks involved (3 including the caller's network). Sometimes the Orange system is down, sometimes O2. I use my phone for business. So yes, centralised would be better.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares!

    New SIM card, new number ... basics!

  14. Thomas Bottrill


    You can already do this. UKreg, and I guess other registrars, lets you manage the nameserver records for your domain (you can even change the IPS tag if you want to move it to another registrar), and various free services allow you to manage the nameserver entries for your domain.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    what now?,1000000085,39493754,00.htm

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    latest on this

    The 4 incumbents (O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone) have decided to boycott further participation in the ongoing scheme called UKPorting to improve the porting process from two days to two hours, instead using Vodafone’s legal and technical appeal to justify further delay. Only 3 UK was in favour of continuing regardless.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Thomas Bottrill

    1. Stupid-sounding, fairly obvious potentially sarcastic comment made further up page - check.

    2. Nobody else has pointed out the obvious flaw in the comment and has spotted the sarcasm - check.

    3. Risk of making self sound silly if the obvious flaw is pointed out - check.

    Welcome to The Register. We hope you enjoy your stay/Please don't feed the trolls*

    * Delete as appropriate

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