South Africa gets fixed line number portability

icasa.jpgThe Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has implemented a process that will allow the country’s fixed line telecom customers to keep their landline numbers when switching from one telecoms provider to another.

Called “Geographic Number Portability”, the process will see the same application of number portability rules applied to the fixed-line environment as has previously been implemented in the South African mobile environment.

The implementation, also known as known as “Fixed Number Portability”, is active with immediate effect.

In a statement ICASA said: “The Geographic Number Portability will be implemented in phases with the first phase only dealing with blocks of one thousand and ten thousand numbers and more (mostly for corporate customers) and the second phase dealing with individual numbers (mostly for residential customers).”

Individual customers will not be able to port their individual numbers during the first phase, while residential customers will only be able to port during the second phase – the date of which is to be announced later.

“In terms of the regulations, this will have to be within 10 months following the implementation of the first phase.”

South Africa currently has two landline services providers, Telkom and Neotel, who have both committed to the implementation of the new regulation.

— Mpendulo Ngwenya