Ofcom Suffers Court Defeat In Bid To Decrease Time To Port Numbers To 2 Hours

Vodafone defeated Three and Communication Regulator Ofcom at the hands of the Competition Appeal Tribunal after Ofcom said it wanted to decrease the time it took for mobile service providers to port numbers - the process during which a phone number is moved from one mobile phone network to another - to only 120 minutes.

Back in 2007, Ofcom pushed forward plans for a common pool of phone numbers which was rebutted by all the major phone networks - with the exception of Hutchinson Whampoa owned Three Networks.

But yesterday, the CAT gave reason to the network providers criticising Ofcom for not being able to put a price tag on how much implementing such a system would cost the Mobile Telecom industry.

A Vodafone spokesperson told Mobile Today : "Vodafone welcomes this unanimous judgement. It confirms Vodafone's view that any major change affecting all the UK's phone users needs to be fully thought through before firm decisions are taken to go ahead".

Three Networks argues that it is at the wrong end of the process as the current two-day process allows the mobile phone networks to try and broker new deals with their leaving customers, often offering them tailor-made contracts.

It should be pointed out though that porting your number in Ireland often requires less than 20 minutes which leaves UK behind many other European countries.