Number Portability Benefits Switchers And Non-Switchers Alike
from the 1-2-switcheroo dept
A new analyst report says that consumers worldwide haven't reaped the benefits of mobile number portability, mainly pointing to the low numbers of users that have taken advantage of it. In the US, for instance, just 5 percent of mobile users have switched operators and taken their number. There's a host of reasons for the low figures, ranging from ineffective enforcement of MNP rules by regulators to operators' reliance on long-term contracts, but there's a theoretical problem with the report, and it's a question we've asked before: do users need to switch operators to see the benefits of number portability? The answer, really, is no. MNP's most obvious goal is to let people "own" their phone number, but a bigger point is that it removes a competitive obstacle in the market, and forces operators to compete on other factors, rather than the brute force of dissuading people from switching because they'd have to change numbers. This should increase overall competition in the market, but on meaningful metrics like price and service, and that's something that benefits everyone, not just those who switch providers.