by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has welcomed the finalisation of the number portability framework and the provision of a firm commencement date.
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has published the relevant Number Portability Regulations in the Government Gazette.
ICASA proclaimed that the Number Portability Regulations will come into force on 7th March 2022. From this date local businesses, NGOs and call centres can change to a different service provider without having to change their 0800, 0860 or 087 numbers.
“This welcome news also signals to business and consumers the necessity of holding off on entering into further long-term agreements with providers,” said ISPA regulatory advisor, Dominic Cull.
“This is because the full implementation of number portability will soon see greater competition in providing telecoms services when it comes to non-geographic phone numbers,” he explained.
ISPA has been for 15 years calling for the full implementation of number portability.
It said prior to ICASA’s December 2021 announcement, the issue around number portability was that while 1 million geographic numbers and 8 million mobile numbers had been ported in SA, it remained impossible to port non-geographic numbers.
These were used by local businesses, non-profit organisations and consumers for toll-free, shared-cost, premium rate and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
These numbers start with 0800, 0860, 0861, 0862 and 087.
– CAJ News