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Least Cost Routing: Mobile Number Portability Becomes Official in Ghana


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July 13, 2011

Least Cost Routing: Mobile Number Portability Becomes Official in Ghana

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

Following a long implementation process filled with debate, Ghana underwent a major transformation last week in terms of its telecommunications system. Mobile number portability became official last Thursday, July 7, for Ghana residents, who will now be able to seamlessly have the telecom operator’s service center switch their number to another network, without the hassle of changing phone numbers.

Across the globe, mobile number portability has become increasingly popular for both wireless and fixed line phone services, as it provides customers with more options and offers providers alternative methods for improving revenue and delivering new services.

Within the first day, more than 100 subscribers successfully ported, or moved over, their numbers. The process, according to Saqip Nazir of Porting XS, the company behind the porting procedure, has been “smooth.”

Porting Access Ghana currently serves as the country’s central service provider and will deliver the centralized system that enables a customer to transition to another mobile network and keep the number he or she had on a previous network.

While Porting Access Ghana usually charges the recipient network U.S. $2.50 for the move, Ghana’s networks have made the process free of charge.

Much of an uproar has surrounded the mobile number portability issue for countries like Ghana and Kenya, which rolled out number portability back in April. According to the Communications Commission of Kenya, number portability is meant to both improve mobile telecommunications market competition, as well as prevent the loss of phone contacts that often comes along with changing phone numbers and carriers. The inability to retain this important data has, in the past, kept consumers from taking advantage of other mobile operators, thus damaging the potential for many service providers to prosper and maybe even topple the competition.

While many systems are already in place, challenges still exist in least cost routing capabilities. To drive an effective solution, many operators are seeking to route telephone calls based on the routing number, and not on the dialed telephone number. This least cost routing can deliver measurable benefits. For SIP service providers, however, sending a number portability query to an external database adds to the expense and critical dependency on an external network resource.

TransNexus’ (News - Alert) OSPrey-NP number portability server helps to address this problem by offering a simple, low-cost, high-performance software platform to host the U.S. number portability database locally within the network. The OSPrey-NP server automatically stays synchronized with the U.S. Number Portability Administration Center to ensure every network has a near real-time copy of the NPAC.

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 Jamie Epstein

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