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ICASA invites comments on number portability regulations

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Stakeholders have 30 working days to comment on ICASA's number portability regulations.
Stakeholders have 30 working days to comment on ICASA's number portability regulations.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has invited interested stakeholders to comment on the draft number portability regulations published yesterday in the Government Gazette.

The proposed draft regulations are published in terms of section 68, read with section four of the Electronic Communications Act, according to ICASA.

In a statement, the telecoms regulator instructed that written representations must be submitted within 30 working days from date of publication, via post, hand delivery, e-mail or fax.

Number portability enables mobile and fixed-line telephone customers to keep their number, including prefixes, when switching from one provider of mobile or fixed telecoms services to another, the authority explained.

According to ICASA, the proposed regulations seek to ensure effective functionality of number portability, access and routing of communication despite the number being ported, as well as ensure number portability occurs in an efficient manner without unreasonable delays or disruption of services.

In addition, the regulations set out to provide mechanisms to address cost allocation and cost recovery among licensees with regards to number portability.

The regulator says: "It is ICASA's view that number portability has benefits for consumers in that it promotes customer choice, encourages competition and has a potential to improve quality of service by network operators.

"The draft regulations therefore seek to ensure, among others, effective functionality of number portability, and that number portability occurs in an efficient manner without delays or disruption of services."

A copy of the draft regulations is available on ICASA's Web site and at the regulator's library.

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