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App Developers Gain Access to Canadian Number Portability Database


TMCnews Featured Article

May 12, 2011

App Developers Gain Access to Canadian Number Portability Database

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

New applications are constantly being developed for consumers to enjoy without limitations on their smartphones. But, once a consumer decides to switch mobile carriers, these apps can often be lost in the mix and not perform at optimal efficiency.

The Canadian LNP Consortium, Inc., recently requested that the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) grant third-party developers access to the Canadian Number Portability Administration Centre Service Management System to ensure that these developers can determine proper least cost routing when a customer changes providers. This database, which consists of links between consumers’ phone numbers and their locations on networks, enables application providers to track this change in network.

Viewed as a way to improve the mobile telecommunications market competition, number portability is the ability to transfer a mobile or landline telephone number assigned by a local exchange carrier and re-assign it to another carrier. Many smartphone applications route traffic directly to end-users without the intervention of telecom carriers; therefore, with third-party access to routing information found in the database, this will ensure that traffic always reaches the end-user.

In its decision last week, following an extensive review by the commission since last fall, the CRTC noted, “The Commission considers that, to the extent possible, telecommunications traffic should be routed correctly and efficiently,” the decision said. “The Commission also considers that services are being introduced that provide desirable features and benefits to consumers; however, these services are changing the way traffic has traditionally been routed and delivered.”

Many countries throughout the world have been in the process of launching mobile number portability for subscribers, sparking debates and even confusion at the movement. Major telecom operators in countries like Kenya, India and Ghana are all preparing for the launch, but have experienced mix support.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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