Kiwi users close in on one million ported numbers

Come April Kiwis will have ported 800,000 phone numbers from one telco to another, according to the New Zealand Telecommunication Forum.

Porting – which allows users to take their existing numbers to a new service provider – reaches its fifth birthday on April 1.

And the TCF says by next month 800,000 phone numbers will have been ported by New Zealand customers – 300,000 landlines and 500,000 mobiles.

When number portability went “live” in 2007, there were eight participants using the TCF-managed porting system, which has now grown to 24 service providers.

Correspondingly, growth in porting now sees almost 13,000 mobile numbers ported every month, compared with just 3,000 a month during the first year the scheme operated. About 150,000 mobile numbers have been ported over the last year.

“At some point, we may see a levelling off in recorded porting activity as we reach a natural equilibrium with ported and non-ported numbers,” TCF chief executive David Stone said.

“But for now, we have our eyes set on the one million mark and, at this rate, that’s not too far off.”