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3 welcomes proposals to modernise UK Mobile Number Portability

3 challenges industry to implement proposed changes within 12 months

July 17, 2007: 3 UK today welcomed the publication of Ofcom's proposals and further consultation on mobile number portability (MNP), the process by which a customer can keep their mobile number when they move from one mobile operator to another.

Kevin Russell, CEO of 3 UK, said:

"This is good news for UK consumers. Letting people move their number to a new network quickly and easily will encourage competition and greater choice. These changes will bring down prices for all UK mobile users."

He continued: "However, we think that the proposal, which gives the industry over 26 months to implement these changes when it could easily be done in 12 months, is unnecessarily generous. The current porting system is letting down UK consumers and there must be a greater sense of urgency to fix it."

"In the US and Canada, it took 12 months to implement a similar system to that being proposed for the UK, but covering over 190 million phone numbers across both markets and incorporating over 100 fixed line and mobile operators."

He added, "3 will respond to the next stage of the consultation by publishing a detailed proposal laying out how consumers can benefit from a vastly improved system ahead of the timetable proposed. We hope the rest of the industry will step up to the plate and will work to put this new system fully into place by September 2008."


Notes to editors:

UK mobile customers currently have to wait at least five working days to move their number to another network, whereas it takes less than 20 minutes in Ireland.

UK consumers also have to request permission from the network they are leaving. The number porting process is managed by the network that is losing, rather than gaining, the customer, which naturally slows down the process and increases costs. The UK is now the only EU market where this is still the case.

Once a customer has moved their number to a different network in the UK their calls are still routed through their old network in perpetuity. This system is highly inefficient and adds both costs and risks to the consumer.

About 3

3 is a mobile media company delivering a convergence of communications, entertainment and information to customers on the move.

The three areas which form the core of its business are:

  • Communications - including all forms of personal communications, voice and video calling; text, picture and video messaging; and mobile blogging
  • Entertainment - including television, music audio and video, computer games, and media publishing
  • Information services - including wireless web, access to the best of the internet and a range of news services

3 UK is a member of the HWL group of 3G companies, which include 3G operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Sweden and soon Norway.

Three facts about 3:

  • 3, a mobile media company, launched the UK's first 3G network
  • 3 has over 3.9 million customers in the UK and over 14.7 million worldwide (March 2007 figures)
  • The 3 network offers national coverage for calls and texts, and over 90% population coverage for 3G services.

For further information, please visit: or call the 3 Media Office on 0845 6038333.

Lucy Reed
Press Officer, Corporate Communications, 3 UK
Direct line: 01628 766 143