GSMA Takes On International Number Portability

GSMA logoThe GSMA, uniting some 800 of the world’s mobile operators, has announced plans to take on the number portability issues that are becoming increasingly difficult to manage in the mobile industry.

Dubbed “PathFinder Number Portability Discovery,” the new service encompasses 2.2 billion phone numbers that are impacted by number portability worldwide, a figure which is expected to rise rapidly.  Number Portability is currently implemented in over 52 countries globally, with many more, including China and India, expected to launch by the end of 2010.  The service will also aggregate numbering plan data from virtually every country in the world, including those with high number portability penetration.

The impact of number portability on mobile operators has induced strain and complication since the beginning, and the GSMA wanted to provide an interoperable, industry-wide solution that enables the routing of global IP service interconnect traffic.  The new Number Portability Discovery service will make use of PathFinder’s extensive number portability database, which provides access to all national numbering plans and number portability information, where available, throughout the world.  With adaptable and extensible interfaces, the service can rapidly incorporate new number portability data for countries coming on line or that plan to implement number portability in the future.

In terms of mobile marketing technologies such as SMS and MMS, the service makes it simple for carriers, service providers and hubs to improve the commercial/technical performance of these services in the presence of number portability challenges, while providing a convenient upgrade path to next generation IP services that require number portability correction through Carrier ENUM based “number resolution techniques.”

Things like this is why the GSMA is in place- to keep tabs on industry changes that effect the wireless industry as a whole.  Since number portability has become an increasingly important piece of the puzzle for wireless operators, the GSMA took action to make it easier to handle in the future.