Viva la revolution! Leave Telecom, but keep your Telecom number
Yesterday (April 1), the long-awaited regulatory change become official. You're now able to leave Telecom (or whomever your current landline and/or mobile provider is) but keep your Telecom number. Click below to read the government's press release.
One consequence is that you can now switch to internet calling, but keep the number you've always used for landline calls. For hands on reviews of different VoIP service options, and profiles of VoIP handsets (which these days look just like regular telephones, don't you know ... well, most of them) proceed directly to the nearest newsstand and buy a copy of April NZ PC World.
Unfortunately, taking your email address with you as well is not an option, and that's certainly a factor that put a dampner on things when number portability was recently introduced in Japan.
That press release in full:
Consumers will be able to keep their existing home and mobile telephone numbers when they change service providers from Sunday, says Communications Minister David Cunliffe.
"The establishment of number portability from 1 April for local and mobile telephone services is a welcome and long-anticipated service that removes some of the costs associated with changing telecommunications providers," Mr Cunliffe said.
"Pleased as I am that the service is now available, I note it has been a long time coming. The industry has been working on this for approximately a decade.
"When I became minister in 2005, I accepted a final deadline for its start of 1 April 2007. I am delighted the industry has met that target, and I congratulate all involved.
"The Telecommunications Carriers' Forum is to be applauded for its efforts in taking over leadership of this industry issue and bringing the telecommunications carriers together to make this service available to consumers."
Local number portability will let fixed (landline) customers change service provider but keep the same telephone number within a local calling area. Cellular number portability will let a mobile (cellular) customer change provider and keep the same mobile number, including the same cellular network access code.
Local and cellular telephone number portability are both regulated services under the Telecommunications Act 2001. The regulations allow for the Commerce Commission to determine all or some of the terms on which an access provider must supply the service to an access seeker
"In December, the Labour-led government agreed to continue to regulate number portability, along with nine other telecommunications services. That decision was taken to promote competition in telecommunications markets for the long-term benefit of end-users, and will have helped to speed the establishment of portability."
Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Communications