ICASA has recently passed a new number portability regulation which has come into effect on the 7th March 2022. This means that numbers such as those beginning with non-geographic specifiers at the beginning of the telephone number can now be ported to any ICASA approved network.
What is a Non-Geographic Number?
Most business landline numbers begin with 3 digits which allow users to identify the province and general location of the caller’s origin. 011, for example, indicated Johannesburg, Gauteng. Many businesses however are national in scale and require a number that can be marketed nationally without indicating one specific location. An example would be the AA (Automobile Association) using an 0861 number for their call centre.
South African Non-Geographic Numbers:
All of the above non-Geographic numbers will now be portable from any service provider to another without difficulty.
Benefits of Porting Your Non-Geographic Number
The ICASA legislation changes come as a huge relief to companies that have remained with inadequate service providers in order to keep their non-geographic number operational. The change brings South Africa in line with global trends in the Telecoms market which allow universal changing of numbers with control of numbers resting with the service providers.
Call centres and businesses will be able to choose network providers with better service and technology, limiting their downtime and network issues along with increased ability to benefit from cost savings on the cost per minute. Customers will also be able to choose from connectivity options such as internet, links or through SD-WAN which may also reduce costs.
Being able to port your non-geographic number to a new service provider also streamlines your billing process, for example, before the legislation was passed, inbound non-geographic numbers were provided by Telkom or a range of limited providers and the remaining voice services were often delivered by a separate telecoms provider. Now, companies may port and consolidate their non-geographic number under one service provider for both voice services and inbound geographic and non-geographic numbers and infrastructure.
The ability to finally be able to port non-geographic numbers will lead to benefits such as enhanced support turnaround time, competitive pricing, innovative solutions, and cost savings to mention a few.
If you would like to find out more or discuss how to port your non-geographic number to United Telecoms send our team an email to [email protected] or call us on 086 001 8500.