What are the current regulations on pure Geographical Number Portability (“GNP”)? Is there any official reference documentation?
The first major Resolutions on number portability are numbered 4/CIR/99 and 7/00/CIR.
Subsequently Resolutions 274/07/CONS, 41/09/CIR and 52/09/CIR expanded the reference scenario, introducing use of secret codes both for portability with access and for portability without access (known as "pure").
What is the inter-operator technical workshop on pure Geographical Number Portability?
Resolutions 274/07/CONS, 41/09/CIR and 52/09/CIR, since their issue, have determined the need to identify a new process; the Operators have therefore set up a technical workshop devoted to pure GNP, and have worked with AGCom to identify the detailed requirements of the new platform to be created.
Why is this kind of NP defined as “pure”?
Because in this case, the Operator to which the customer has made the application, along with a request to maintain his/her number, intends to provide its services using access solutions for which it is totally responsible, without reusing those of TIM (e.g. Unbundling). The portability will therefore be "pure" in the sense that it will take place without being accompanied by transfer of physical access resources.
What does the standard portability process involve? Are there other processes?
In the initial phase of the process, an Operator (known as the “recipient”) who wishes to pursue a request by one of its new customers to keep the number which he/she has used for the services supplied by the donating operator (the “donor”), will ask this Customer for the secret code (“PIN”). The recipient will subsequently communicate with the Operator to which the number was assigned (the “donor”), and through it will request verification of the PIN. This exchange, and all the MIME format messages that follow it, is conducted by sending (by specific protocol) files containing record traces.
The process described above is the “standard” one; the official documentation envisages and governs the possibility of carrying out further processes of “Cancellation”, “Termination”, "DAC remodulation" and “Termination with return”.
What are secret codes? What are they for?
The new pure GNP process is based on the requirement for Operators to supply a secret code (“PIN”) to each of their Customers to whom they have assigned geographical telephone numbers.
This PIN is known only to the end customer and to the donor, and serves to permit, when used in some of the phases of the standard process, to check that the Customer's desire to switch operators is “unequivocal”.
The Operators have agreed that this PIN should coincide with the COW code already identified within the data structure of the migration code envisaged by Resolution 274/07/CONS. It has therefore been established that each Operator shall be assigned 200 variations of that code; each Operator will therefore assign one of the 200 codes assigned to it to each of its end customers.
Further information and details on COW codes and their representation, both in relation to notification to customers, and in relation to their use in the process, are given in Resolution 35/10/CIR.
TIM Wholesale handles the publication of the COW codes for all Operators, guaranteeing deduplication in the event of any overlaps.
What timing (“SLA”) is anticipated for technical execution of the various phases of the processes?
Why don't you just talk about processes, instead of talking about a new “platform”?
The new platform for pure GNP is made up of new processes, but not just that. The processes are carried out using new record traces, grouped into files with new formats which are exchanged by means of a new protocol. The new decisions related to these four technical areas have been agreed by the Operators based on AGCom's indications, and together they form the new technical/operating procedures which will permit an end customer to switch his/her reference operator within a predefined time scale while guaranteeing, as far as technically possible, minimum disservice.
This platform has been in operation since 7 February 2011, the date on which the Operators ceased using the old platform and began using the new one.
Where can I find the technical specifications and information for implementing the platform?
I think I have discovered an inconsistency in the official documentation. What can I do?
Until the work of the technical workshop has been concluded, it is possible to report any inconsistency to AGCom or to point it out during the meetings of the technical workshop and agree a change to the documentation with all the other Operators, then with AGCom.
Does anything change for handling of non-geographical number portability (“NGNP”)?
No. The NGNP procedures remain the same.
We have only now become aware that we need to change the platform. What risks do our customers run?
Those who have not adopted the new platform cannot carry out number porting, either as recipients or donors. In both cases, there is the risk that you will not be able to comply with the requirement to satisfy number portability requests by your end customers.
Is number portability associated with activation of LLU always coordinated to reduce any disservice to the end customer to a minimum?
Yes; the processes are designed to minimise disservice to the end customer, where possible synchronising activation of LLU and number portability.
Are tests towards the end customer conducted after execution of number portability to check the continuity of the service?
Where pure number portability, that is NP not accompanied by migration of the access, is concerned, in most cases the delivery process is automatic. After executing the portability on its own network, before finally terminating the process, TIM in any case waits at least two hours during which the recipient Operator can request roll back if necessary, for example to deal with any routing problems on its own network. Additionally, where complex orders are concerned (for example, those regarding GNR portability) the process normally involves a joint test phase shared by TIM and the “recipient” operator, if necessary involving the end customer.
Is the Number Portability service regulated by AGCom? If so, which are the most important Resolutions on the subject?
Yes; number portability must be provided to users of the fixed telephony network and this requirement is in force for all operators. TIM, as an operator notified as having significant market power, integrates and publishes its reference interconnection offer, in relation to the number portability service.
The most important Resolutions are 4/CIR/99 and 7/00/CIR, and more recently 274/07/CONS, 41/09/CIR, 52/09/CIR and 35/10/CIR.