Number portability in the mobile communications networks is provided in accordance with the Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive). The Directive obligates all member states of the European Union to implement number portability by the end of the national transition period ending on 25 July 2003.
Number portability applies only to the actual telephone number. Voice mail, data or fax numbers are not portable. Similarly, pre-paid connections activated without a written subscription agreement and mobile numbers other than the voice service numbers are not portable.
Numpac is a provider of number portability functionality for telecommunications companies and other possible parties.
The shareholders in Numpac are DNA Oy, Elisa Oyj and TeliaSonera Oyj with each company holding 33% of the capital stock.
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In number porting, Numpac's role is that of a coordinator and intermediary. Being a coordinator means that Numpac is responsible for the implementation and further development of number porting. In its capacity as an intermediary, Numpac has concluded commercial agreements on the maintenance and provision of the number porting services for its customers. Numpac has signed identical agreements on number porting services with all its customers.
The overriding values that govern Numpac's operations are reliability, impartiality, and fairness.
Numpac's objective is to make none profit. Numpac's cost structure is extremely light and Numpac purchases all the services it needs from outside suppliers.
At present, Numpac offers operators mobile and fixed number porting services as well as primary network selection services. Additionally, Numpac provides a free information service for ported numbers intended for end customers required under the number porting regulation. By means of this information service, the consumer can identify the operator responsible for any mobile or fixed-line number. This information helps customers find out about the rates charged for calls to specific numbers.
Numpac is not engaged in any actual sales or marketing efforts. Instead, Numpac concludes agreements with the telecom operators on the use of the service. It is up to the individual operators to determine how they market number portability when selling subscriptions. In reality, the only way for a telecom operator to implement number porting in Finland is to rely on the Master System administered by Numpac.
Any operator based in Finland can acquire a stake in Numpac. The current owners are the TeliaSonera Finland Corporation, Elisa Corporation, and DNA Oy. The purpose of operator-ownership is that when the operators exercise the decision-making powers in the company, they see to it that its operations are organised as efficiently as possible. Numpac offers the number porting services to its owners on the same terms as to other customers. In other words, ownership does not carry any special benefits.
The Master System exchanges information related to number porting between the telecommunications companies involved, stores the ported numbers and provides information on numbers that have been ported.
For the construction and maintenance of the MASTER System, Numpac has signed a commercial agreement with Accenture Oy.
The Master System is implemented, operated and maintained by Accenture Oy under a service agreement with Numpac. A company named Softwright Solutions Ltd was involved in this project as Accenture's subcontractor in the design and implementation phase.
The party ordering a new subscription signs a subscription agreement with the mobile operator confirming that the current number will be transferred from the existing mobile communications operator to the new operator.
Numpac offers two types of interfaces to the the Master Database. All operators are required to have either an M2M or WEB interface.
With the M2M interface, the operator can link its customer service system to the Master Database using a machine-language connection. The customer processes the number porting requests directly via its own customer service system with no need for a special Master Database connection for the purpose of submitting and receiving number porting requests. The M2M interface is used for online distribution of call routing data to network operators.
The M2M inteface is intended for operators with a large customer base and high volume of number porting requests.
With the Web intefrace, the customer uses a web browser for entering and reading number porting requests to the Master System.
The annual charge is paid when the service agreement is signed with the customer. Separate charges are made for the interface used for porting mobile numbers and for the interface for porting fixed numbers. The annual charges are payable in a lump sum for the entire contract period up until 2012.
The monthly charge for the interface is billed once a month. Aside from the number porting services, the charge covers the transmission of call routing data to the service provider's network operator, provision of information, and clearance of payments between operators.
The number porting charge is paid by the receiving operator. Numpac charges the porting charge for each ported number based on the actual porting transactions. The charge for a single transaction, such as the transfer of a number block in the fixed network, is the same as for a single mobile phone number.
The number porting charge varies from month to month. The basic porting charge is determined by Numpac on a monthly basis according to the total number of portings.
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