News & Updates

  • Number Portability

Number Portability Draft Regulations: A Game Changer

On 24 November 2017, ICASA (the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) released new draft regulations on Number Portability. These proposed regulations aim to achieve effective and efficient functionality when porting numbers from one provider to the next; effective access and routing of communication regardless of the number being ported, and the licensees having to address cost allocation and cost recovery when porting numbers.

Number Portability is the transfer of geographic numbers, non-geographic numbers (with prefixes 086, 080 and 087) as well as mobile numbers from one operator to another.

Mobile and geographic number portability have had a major impact on the consumer. Currently, non-geographic number portability is not available. This prevents a vast numer of businesses and consumers from changing their existing provider because they want to keep their number. But with these new regulations, this may finally be coming to an end.

Golden Numbers not so Golden

ICASA stated that “Number Portability has benefits for consumers in that it promotes customer choice. It encourages competition and has a potential to improve quality of service by network operators.

A large proportion of businesses in South Africa have ‘golden numbers’. A golden number usually begins with 0800. They are easy to remember and can spell out the company’s name or service offering. Many businesses stay with their current providers just to keep their golden numbers due to the potential damage changing the number could do to their brand. The cost of forwarding calls from these golden numbers to a new provider can run into the thousands and often doesn’t make financial sense.

Even if they were to change, the indirect costs faced by businesses can be extremely high. Issuing new business cards, brochures, updating social media with new contact numbers. Not to mention that potential downtime can cost a lot of money. In some cases, it can also be an administrative nightmare!

Transparency is Key for the Consumer

Cost transparency is the main reason for customers wanting to change providers. While price is still the most important factor, the 2016 Acquisition and Retention study conducted by Nokia (https://pages.nokia.com/AR-Study-Series.html) revealed that transparency in contract plans and rate structures were also compelling reasons for customers to change service providers. According to the study, these are the four main reasons why customers are likely to change providers. These reasons are as follows:

  1. Cost and billing transparency
  2. Network quality
  3. Customer care
  4. Service and device portfolio

The draft document clearly aims to place the power in the hands of the consumer, which is great to see. And as the Switch Telecom team, we’d like to say, “Well done ICASA!”

Customers will no longer be compelled to stay with the same operator to keep their same number, and service providers will have to up their game when it comes to delivering customer service. We believe this will level the playing field for all service providers. Business and consumers will soon have complete freedom of choice when renewing the fixed-line contracts. Their decision to stay or go will depend on the four factors mentioned above – not on whether their existing numbers can be ported.

The competition is on, so let’s sit back and watch which service providers will rise to the challenge!

Dec 11th, 2017|Latest News|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

  • Switch Telecom Facebook
  • Switch Telecom Linkedin

News and updates

How to choose from the Best VoIP Providers in South Africa

With the ever-increasing cost of living and cost of doing business in South Africa, choosing to move to a VoIP Telephone system is a no brainer. However, picking the right VoIP provider for your needs is not always as easy as it may seem. So how do you narrow down your selection and choose the right provider? The following guidelines should enable you to select a VoIP provider who will meet your requirements: How to pick from the best VoIP [...]

Aug 21st, 2019|Categories: Latest News|

VoIP Security: Use a layered approach to ensure it

Nowadays the Private Security Industry in South Africa is thriving. Homeowners and Businesses alike are signing up for sophisticated systems to protect their assets.  Most people are taking a layered approach to their security, such as electric fences, CCTV solutions and armed response. Similarly to the Security Industry, the deployment of VoIP solutions has also greatly increased. Unfortunately, some of the key factors that make VoIP so attractive have also become it's Achilles heel. VoIP allows for flexibility and accessibility [...]

Jul 5th, 2019|Categories: Latest News|

VoIP Applications – Getting it Right the First Time

Nail guns have replaced hammers overtime in the construction industry. They are powerful, easy to operate and boost productivity for nailing tasks. However, nail guns are a leading cause of injury among residential ‘carpenters’. They are responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year in the United States alone. Puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are most common. More serious injuries, such as a nail to the head, leg and thigh often occur. The Industrial and Construction [...]

Apr 25th, 2019|Categories: Latest News|

VoIP Service Providers South Africa

The emergence of digital technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has seen a decline in the utilisation of analogue technologies. This decline has also led to VoIP service providers in South Africa discovering innovative ways to scale and reduce costs. Most VoIP service providers in South Africa offer products and services which enhance productivity and efficiencies in the home and workplace. VoIP technology runs over IP and offers businesses the benefit of high-functionality and low-cost. VoIP also enables [...]

Mar 13th, 2019|Categories: Latest News|

Loadshedding and your VoIP Solution

It seems that load shedding isn’t going away any time soon.  So, what do you do when the power is out and you still need to make and receive calls? When electricity is load shed, many communication methods, such as the internet, computers, and telephones are left without power. Even though load shedding is taking place throughout South Africa your clients, friends and family might be on a different schedule. This means that you could be missing their calls. This [...]

Feb 14th, 2019|Categories: Latest News|

Win with Switch Telecom

Win with Switch Telecom... would you like to win a Cordless Handset Bundle? It's easy, simply Like and Share our page on Facebook. Access our Facebook page here: Switch Telecom Facebook Terms and Conditions apply. Competition ends on the 1st of October 2018. Competition applies to South African residents only. The winner will be announced on the 5th of October 2018 on Facebook. Contact us for more information.

Sep 5th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|

Interview with TechCentral: Switch Telecom slams ICASA

Communications regulator Icasa has not thought through its proposed new call termination rate regulations. If they’re implemented without significant changes, they will harm the industry and lead to higher prices for consumers. That’s the view of Switch Telecom CEO Greg Massel, who spoke to TechCentral in a podcast interview on Monday (listen to the discussion below). “The single biggest issue is that, either intentionally or unintentionally, they seem to steal from the poor and give to the rich,” he said. [...]

Aug 27th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|

Telephony deployment simplified with Switch Telecom’s Auto-provisioning system

The demand for cloud telephony services is at an all-time high. VoIP services and Hosted PBX solutions are becoming increasingly popular with small and large enterprises. There is a much lower barrier to entry in comparison to traditional PBX and telephony solutions. VoIP rollouts are usually easier and turnaround times are usually much quicker. Being in the cloud affords hosted PBX telephony solutions the flexibility that a physical telephony solution can't.  Adding and removing extensions is quick and easy. Routine [...]

Jun 6th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|

A few ways to work smarter with your Switchboard/PBX

According to Statistics SA, the South African economy grew by 1.3% in 2017. It seems businesses across various industries are struggling in the current economy. Running a business can be expensive.  We know many businesses are facing a hard time. There are many rabbit holes where money can disappear into, this is especially true when it comes to your PBX. A Switchboard or Private Branch Exchange (PBX) service should enhance your business but can easily suck up money if not [...]

Mar 12th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|

Will free higher education solve the skills shortage?

On 16 December 2017, President Zuma announced that the government would subsidise free higher education for poor and working-class students. President Zuma said, “Having amended the definition of poor and working-class students. The government will now introduce fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working-class South African undergraduate students. Starting in 2018 with students in their first year of study at our public universities." According to the President, poor and working-class students are “students currently enrolled at [...]

Jan 12th, 2018|Categories: Latest News|