MNP glitches for Optus, hundreds delayed

MNP glitches for Optus, hundreds delayed

Telstra is calling on the Australian Communications Authority to enforce the industry's mobile number portability (MNP) code following a nightmare start to the new service.

Warnings about Optus' readiness for MNP leading up to yesterday's launch proved to be warranted, with all three carriers identifying a massive backlog of customers looking to switch from Optus to other carriers.

Tim Scott, public affairs manager at Telstra OnAir, indicated that "hundreds" of customers looking to switch from Optus to Telstra were delayed yesterday, and despite a slight overnight drop off in the backlog, customers were still experiencing delays of a few hours.

"To give an example of the magnitude of problems, from 9.20am yesterday through to about 7pm last night, not one Optus customer wishing to move their service over to Telstra was processed by the Optus system," he said.

Marie Kelly, director of public affairs at Orange, also confirmed difficulties with Optus' porting system.

Telstra, Orange and Vodafone has each called for an urgent meeting of the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) to address the issue. In addition, Telstra is calling on the Australian Communications Authority to step in and enforce the industry's MNP code, which Scott believes clearly outlines the responsibilities of carriers in terms of porting services.

Optus indicated in July it was not going to participate in the end-to-end industry testing; subsequently there have been concerns about the readiness of the carrier's systems. According to Scott, Optus tested only a single port last Friday, which he believes was "too little, too late".

Optus has not been isolated in terms of MNP glitches. Telstra also noted that it had a "small hiccup" with its system yesterday afternoon for around 15 minutes, but would not give any further details. Vodafone also suffered a systems crash, resulting in the system being taken offline for 20 minutes to add capacity.

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