ARCHIVED -  Telecom Decision CRTC 99-12

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Ottawa, 15 September 1999
Microcell - Application for Mandated Wireless Number Portability
File No.: 8620-M16-01/98
1.By letter dated 10 December 1998, Microcell Telecommunications Inc. (Microcell) made an application, pursuant to Part VII of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure, requesting that the Commission issue an order mandating wireless service provider (WSP) number portability.
2.Specifically, Microcell requested (a) that the Commission mandate full participation by WSPs in Local Number Portability (LNP) on or before 31 March 2000; and (b) that the Commission mandate, by 1 April 1999, the portability among WSPs of WSP numbers associated with a local exchange carrier (LEC) switch. Porting of numbers associated with a WSP switch would be voluntary until 31 March 2000.
3.Mobility Canada, Rogers Cantel Inc. (Cantel), Clearnet Communications Inc. and Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) on behalf of BC TEL, Bell Canada, Island Telecom Inc. (Island Tel), Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc. (MTS), NBTel Inc. (NBTel), NewTel Communications Inc., TELUS Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications (Edmonton) Inc., filed letters in response addressing both procedural and substantive issues raised by Microcell's application. Mobility Canada, Cantel and Stentor raised concerns as to whether number portability for WSPs would be feasible on an industry-wide basis.
4.In a letter of 16 December 1998, Cantel submitted that wireless number portability is not technically feasible on an industry wide basis and wireless portability presents enormous technical challenges which, on an industry wide basis, have not been surmounted. Cantel further noted that a North American standardized approach to wireless participation in number portability has not been established and the FCC has extended the deadline for implementation of wireless number portability to 31 March 2000. In a subsequent submission, Cantel noted that the FCC, on 9 February 1999 further extended the deadline to 24 November 2002.
5.By letter dated 18 December 1998, the Commission stated that it would defer the issuance of directions on the process to address Microcell's application to January 1999. The reason for this deferral was that the Order dealing with non-LEC portability was about to be issued, and the Commission considered that the issues raised by Microcell's application were similar to those to be addressed in that ruling.
6.On 8 January 1999, the Commission issued Telecom Order CRTC 99-5 (Order 99-5) dealing with the porting of numbers by non-LECs.
7.By letter dated 15 January 1999, Microcell noted that the ruling made in Order 99-5 was based upon a record that closed in 1997 and was initiated by a request by Microcell that the Commission permit WSPs to voluntarily participate in LNP. Microcell considered its current application to be of a different nature in that it is requesting mandated WSP portability. Microcell also stated that its current application brings new information to the record, including information from the report of the Wireline/Wireless Integration Task Force of the North American Numbering Council.
8.Mobility Canada submitted a letter dated 25 January 1999 on behalf of BCE Mobile Communications Inc., BC TEL Mobility, The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay -Telephone Division, Island Tel, MTS, MTT Mobility, NBTel, NewTel Mobility Limited, QuébecTel Mobilité Inc., SaskTel Mobility, TELUS Mobility Inc., Nortel Mobility, Northwestel Mobility Inc., Prince Rupert City Telephones and Télébec Mobilité requesting that Microcell's application be dismissed without further process.
9.In Guidelines for Review and Vary Applications, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-6, 20 March 1998 (PN 98-6), the Commission enunciated the factors it would consider in determining whether an application should be treated as a review and vary application or a new application.
10.In Order 99-5, the Commission dealt with the issue of access to the LNP database by all non-LECS, including WSPs. Specifically, the Commission ruled that non-LECs are neither permitted to access the LNP database nor to participate in number portability. It was the Commission's view that non-LECs should not be able to benefit from LNP without having to meet the obligations placed upon LECs in Local Competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, 1 May 1997, in particular, the requirement to have an NXX in each exchange.
11.The Commission concludes that Microcell's application is an application to review and vary the Commission's ruling in Order 99-5 that non-LECs cannot access the LNP database. This determination would have to be varied to allow certain non-LECs to have access to the database if the Commission were to grant Microcell's application and require that WSPs provide number portability.
12.In PN 98-6, the Commission clarified the criteria that an applicant must satisfy for the Commission to review and vary a decision. The Commission stated that applicants must demonstrate that there is substantial doubt as to the correctness of the original decision, for example due to:
(i) an error in law or in fact;
(ii) a fundamental change in circumstances or facts since the decision;
(iii) a failure to consider a basic principle which had been raised in the original proceeding; or
(iv) a new principle which has arisen as a result of the decision.
13.The Commission finds that Microcell has not demonstrated any doubt as to the correctness of its decision that only LECs be permitted to access the LNP database to provide portability. The Commission confirms its view that non-LECs should not have the benefit of access to the LNP database to provide portability, since they do not meet the obligations imposed by the Commission in Decision 97-8.
14.Microcell's application is therefore denied.
Secretary General
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