UK users could save almost #100 million over the next 10 years by keeping their mobile phone numbers when switching suppliers.
The dramatic finding emerged from a study sponsored by telecomms watchdog Oftel, which has demanded that the industry introduce number portability by June 1998. According to the report, carried out by consultancy Ovum, almost all business users would be more willing to switch suppliers if they could keep their numbers.
Currently, only Cellnet and Vodafone customers can retain their numbers, when porting from the companies? analogue services to GSM. Oftel believes this gives these two operators a competitive advantage.
Number portability is already available on some fixed wire services, such as freephone numbers, and the latest Oftel document is likely to spur the industry to call for portability between mobile and fixed wire offerings.
According to the study: ?Customers want number portability now. Its introduction is more important given that the absence of portability restricts competition.?
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