Num­ber port­ing to en­hance com­pe­ti­tion at call cen­tres

African Times - - Business - AKANI CHAUKE

THE im­mi­nent in­tro­duc­tion of num­ber porta­bil­ity is an­tic­i­pated to in­ject com­pe­ti­tion into the South African call cen­tre mar­ket. Num­ber porta­bil­ity en­ables fixed and mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions cus­tomers to keep their ex­ist­ing tele­phone num­bers when switch­ing from one provider to an­other.

South African in­de­pen­dent telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider, Otel, be­lieves the fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion of the prin­ci­ple of porta­bil­ity as en­vi­sioned in the draft num­ber porta­bil­ity reg­u­la­tions cur­rently un­der re­view is a wel­come ad­di­tional step in the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the lo­cal sec­tor.

Re­cent pub­lic hear­ings into pro­posed amend­ments to the In­de­pen­dent Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Au­thor­ity of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) Num­ber­ing Porta­bil­ity Reg­u­la­tions are likely to soon re­sult in the abil­ity of busi­ness own­ers to port their 086 and 087 call cen­tre num­bers.

The draft num­ber porta­bil­ity reg­u­la­tions were pub­lished in the Govern­ment Gazette on 24 Novem­ber 2017 as Gen­eral No­tice 1309. This opened up the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process which cul­mi­nated in the pub­lic hear­ings held dur­ing the week of March 12.

“In­de­pen­dent tel­cos have been un­able to com­pete fairly for the in­bound call cen­tre busi­ness held by the large in­cum­bents due to the huge in­vest­ments cor­po­rate clients have made in their 086 con­tact cen­tre num­bers,” said Rad Jankovic, Otel Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer.

Otel fea­tured among the pre­sen­ters at the ICASA hear­ings.

“No or­gan­i­sa­tion in their right mind will con­sider chang­ing their in­bound call cen­tre to a new voice and data provider if they are un­able to keep their heav­ily-ad­ver­tised 086 con­tact cen­tre num­bers,” Jankovic said.

He said the neg­a­tive ef­fects of not be­ing able to port 086 and 087 num­bers was not lim­ited to the call cen­tre mar­ket, but ex­tended to any large or­gan­i­sa­tion with cen­tral 0861, 0860 and 087 in­bound num­bers.

Cel­lu­lar con­sumers were the first ben­e­fi­cia­ries of mo­bile num­ber porta­bil­ity lo­cally in­tro­duced in 2006. Land­line port­ing was later in­tro­duced.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.