Intelligent Solutions

An invitation to the Open Porting Initiative

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

16th August 2018

Consider this an open letter to all wholesale operators, leading with many of those we have porting agreements with. It is not open to resellers of those operators, or indeed anyone who couldn’t enter into a full porting agreement with delivery over an SS7 interconnect under a Standard Interconnect Agreement. However, they’re very welcome to make your wholesale provider aware of it and invite them to join.

Dear Peer,

Porting is broken. We all know it is broken, and we lumber on in the vain hope a competent regulator will fix it. There are no signs of this happening soon.

Meanwhile, we all have vaguely similar policies around the extent of the abuse of the porting process we’ll tolerate by wholesale customers (we updated ours this week followed by a FAQ). We know some of your customers would move to us if you permitted wholesale ports. We know some of ours have tried to move to you and found the same. A warm conversation doesn’t follow and we feel they should be free to move, even if the end user is not directly the one initiating it. Nobody wants customers who don’t want to be customers, and indeed, we all have some customers we wouldn’t choose to keep! We all do, however, because of the costs of allowing abuse.

Simwood is willing and open to modifying our porting agreements with you to transform routine porting and fix the issue of wholesale ports. It can either be bilaterally or you never know we could achieve something multi-laterally with a common Memorandum of Understanding. Our goals in doing so would be slightly wider than porting alone and essentially be:

  • Settlement-free porting of numbers between us
  • A common public policy on porting where not between us
  • Use of the probably existing IP connectivity between us for the exchange of traffic, avoiding BT transit and associated costs
  • Intent to move to a common API for porting requests so we can automate as much as possible, shortening lead times. Let’s aim for within the hour.
  • Narrowband Access to each others ranges, or bill and keep.
  • A periodic (at least daily) exchange of files containing each others on-net ranges and all ported numbers – avoiding the needless transit through BT and the original range-holder
  • We move light and we move fast; no bogging this down with committees and talking shops. They’ve had ample time to fix this.

That’s it. Even if two of us can agree this it’ll represent a huge step forward all round and a huge benefit to the customers and our collective end users.

You have my phone number and my door is always open.


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