The introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) has had a positive effect on the consumer market, according to Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman of the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).
Since MNP was introduced on 25 September 2001 more than one million Australians have taken the opportunity to 'port' -- changing their mobile service provider or network while still keeping the same mobile number -- according to an ACA statement.
Special offers by carriages service providers (CSPs) had had a positive affect on the mobile phone market, Horton said in thestatement.
'The opportunity to take advantage of lower prices is a clear benefit of MNP which consumers have been quick to recognise.'
More than 654,000 'ports' had been completed in the 12 months to June 2003, following over 430,000 in the first nine months of MNP (September 2001-June 2002), Horton said.
Carriers had been efficient, he said, completing 81.3 percent of inter-network ports within three hours and 97.4 percent within two days.
According to the statement, 654,000 ports (540,000 between carriers' networks and 114,000 between different providers using the same carrier's network) during 2002-03 represented 5.1 per cent of mobile services in operation at 1 July 2002. This compares to 3.9 per cent at 1 July 2001.
'The figures show that there are spikes in monthly MNP activity around the time these offers are made which reinforces the apparent link between price reductions and porting,' Horton said.