What is Geographic Number Porting?
Geographic Number Porting (GNP) means that you can change telephony operators and take your fixed-line number with you! It is based on the same concept as mobile number portability.
As your business grows, your telephony requirements change too. You may need to: upgrade users; accommodate satellite offices or even move operations to a new location. Perhaps you simply wish to save on call charges. Historically, this could mean changing your telephone number. The cost of which is greater than reprinting business cards and other collateral. It would cost you a great portion of your loyal customer base who would think you’ve just disappeared.
In the age of social media, there’s no denying our customers are spoiled when it comes to contacting us. It is then critical that if a customer actually calls by phone, you are there to answer. If not… well, they’ll find someone who will.
The power to move is the power to choose.
GNP means that providers have to do more than just attract new customers. They have to work hard to retain them. GNP encourages: reduced pricing, improved service level agreements and innovations in technology. As operators feel the pressure to better their services you, as the customer, benefit.
The Telecommunications Act of 2000 established the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). One of their objectives being to regulate telecommunications in the public interest. This is precisely why porting was introduced. You now have the right to choose your service provider without the fear of losing your ten-digit identity.
It is arguably the second most significant step in creating a competitive telephony landscape in SA, next to deregulation of the industry itself.
Success of GNP.
GNP came into effect on 26 April 2010. An approximately 7732 geographic ports are completed per month. In the past 4 years (April 26 2010 to end February 2014) there have been 363,398 successful geographic number ports.
You may only port your number between networks. There are 17 operators to choose from. Many operators with allocated geographic number blocks have allowed resale to smaller companies. This means that although you may spending your money with one company, they don’t necessarily own the network to which your number is ported. Be sure to ask who the tier 1 provider is before you port. Ultimately it will be the integrity of their network which determines the quality of your electronic communications.