By April this year New Zealanders will have ported 800,000 phone numbers from one telco to another, according to the New Zealand Telecommunication Forum (TCF).
The TCF says in the five years since it has been established, 300,000 landlines and 500,000 mobile phone numbers have been transferred using the TCF-managed Industry Portability Management System (IPMS).
According to the TCF, almost 13,000 mobile numbers are now being ported every month, compared with just 3,000 a month during the first year the scheme operated.
In the last year alone 150,000 mobile phone numbers went through the IPMS, says the TCF.
One of the beneficiaries of the number porting system has been 2degrees, which earlier this year reported 275,000 of its mobile customers have ported their phone numbers from another carrier.
David Stone, CEO of TCF, says the trend of porting numbers will eventually stabilise, but expects the service to hit the one million mark.
“At some point, we may see a levelling off in recorded porting activity as we reach a natural equilibrium with ported and non-ported numbers” he says.
“But for now, we have our eyes set on the one million mark and, at this rate, that’s not too far off.”