MNP is implemented in different ways across the globe. The international and Europeanstandard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new provider (Recipient)who will then arrange necessary process with the old provider (Donor). This is also known as'Recipient-Led' porting. The UK is the only country to not implement a Recipient-Led system,where a customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the Donor to obtain aPorting Authorization Code (PAC) which he/she then has to give to the Recipient. Once havingreceived the PAC the Recipient continues the port process by contacting the Donor. This form of porting is also known as 'Donor-Led' and has been criticized by some industry analysts as beinginefficient. It has also been observed that it may act as a customer deterrent as well as allowingthe Donor an opportunity of 'winning-back' the customer. This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.In India MNP launched recently which is Donor Led. Only the terminology is changed fromPAC to UPC (Unique Porting Code).A significant technical aspect of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) is related to the routing of calls or mobile messages (SMS, MMS) to a number once it has been ported. There are variousflavors of call routing implementation across the globe but the international and European bestpractice is via the use of a central database (CDB) of ported numbers. Network operator makescopies of CDB and queries it to find out which network to send a call to. This is also known asAll Call Query (ACQ) and is highly efficient and scalable. Majority of the established andupcoming MNP systems across the world are based on this ACQ/CDB method of call routing.One of the very few countries to
use ACQ/CDB is the UK where calls to a number once ithas been ported are still routed via the Donor network. This is also known as 'Indirect Routing'and is highly inefficient as it is wasteful of transmission and switching capacity. Because of itsDonor dependent nature, Indirect Routing also means that if the Donor network develops a faultor goes out of business, the customers who have ported out of that network will lose incomingcalls to their numbers. The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of theUK MNP process on 29 November 2007 and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than 1 September 2009
,Prior to March 2008 it took a minimum of 5 working days to port a number in the UK comparedto 2 hours only in USA, as low as 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland, 3 minutes in Australiaand even a matter of seconds in New Zealand. On 17 July 2007, of com released its conclusionsfrom the review of UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days witheffect from 1 April 2008. On 29 November 2007, Ofcom completed its consultation on further reduction to porting time to 2 hours along with recipient led porting and mandated that near-instant (no more than 2 hours) recipient led porting be implemented by no later than 1 September 2009.