Call Forward

August 06, 2007 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan mobile phone operator has called for the introduction of ‘number portability’, saying that consumers would benefit from being able to switch networks while using the same number. Suren Amarasekera, chief executive of Mobitel Private Ltd., the cellular subsidiary of the dominant fixed phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom, said regulations should be further liberalized to encourage more competition.

This would encourage more private sector investment, ensure better regulation and benefit consumers, he told an international trade law conference organized by the Sri Lanka Law College last week.

Now the time has come to introduce number portability which has the potential to “substantially enhance the benefits of competition to consumers,” Amarasekera said.

An easy way to do it was to make call forwarding a mandatory service, to ensure that if a customer wants to migrate from one network to another, it is mandatory for the operator to forward the call.

“Every operator in the world has call forwarding. It’s a very straightforward solution,” Amarasekera said.

“The benefits of mobile number portability are well recognized around the world. Switching costs between n