The second and final stage of the introduction of fixed line number portability, which will allow individual Telkom customers to switch networks without losing their numbers, has been delayed by about five weeks. The first phase of fixed line number portability, also known as geographic number portability (GNP), kicked off in May 2009; the second, more important phase, which allows individual numbers to be ported, was meant to begin this week. But a well-placed industry source says implementation has been delayed until 26 April to accommodate final testing of IT systems, among other things.
The Number Portability Company, which already handles number porting for the mobile operators, will manage individual GNP on behalf of the operators. Vodacom, MTN and Cell C have agreed to dilute their shareholding in the company to allow Telkom and Neotel to become shareholders, too. It is understood the deal has already been agreed to by the mobile operators and is now awaiting signature by Telkom and Neotel before full implementation can begin. The Number Portability Company has implemented the necessary systems and is understood to be ready to begin porting fixed line numbers.