Communications Alliance celebrates Australia’s 10 years of world’s best mobile number portability

This week the telecommunications industry celebrates 10 years of Mobile Number Portability in Australia (MNP).  Communications Alliance today congratulated the industry on its collaboration in putting in place the world’s best practice mobile number portability scheme.

Since its launch on 25 September 2001, the ongoing success of Mobile Number Portability in Australia has ensured that Australians can more easily choose the mobile provider they want.   Prior to the scheme, mobile customers could not retain their mobile number if they switched mobile providers.

The 10 year milestone was marked at a celebration in Sydney attended by the Federal Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher MP – who as a senior executive at Optus at the time was closely involved in the industry’s work to implement MNP.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said MNP represents a huge investment by the mobile industry in customer service and convenience.

“Almost 11 million mobile ports have taken place under MNP over the past 10 years, with an average of 100,000 ports per month occurring today,” Mr Stanton said.

Mr Fletcher said Australian mobile customers enjoy world’s best practice, with an average porting time of less than one hour.

“The cooperative introduction of MNP demonstrated the Australian telecommunications industry’s maturity and readiness to work together in a self-regulatory framework to achieve good outcomes for consumers,” Mr Fletcher said.

“This 10 year anniversary is a nice opportunity to reflect on the success that MNP has delivered for consumers – and I compliment Communications Alliance for delivering this world leading approach, and the mobile industry more generally for continuing to make this happen,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

From the release of the ACCC Discussion paper on Mobile Number Portability in May 1999, with an MNP implementation date of 25 Sept 2001 being specified by the ACA (now the ACMA) in May 2000, industry worked together under the auspices of Communications Alliance (then ACIF).

The successful introduction of mobile number portability across the industry on time in 2001 was an achievement which demonstrates the ability of the industry to take responsibility for devising a practical solution developed through a co-operative process.  That process included the publication of more than 15 technical and operational documents including a Code, various Network Plans, IT Specifications, Operations Manual, Guidelines, Test Strategy and Test Plans.

Industry agreement on a porting time of a few hours, instead of days as in some other countries, meant that MNP continues to be effective and efficient for end users.

The ongoing success of MNP in Australia is achieved by a collaborative industry group, the MNP Administration Group (MAG), which includes representatives of all MNP participants.  The MAG continually monitors MNP activity to identify performance and other issues and develops and implements changes as required to ensure the ongoing success of MNP in Australia.

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Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see