ARCHIVED - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2005-14

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Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2005-14


See also: 2005-14-1

Ottawa, 16 September 2005


Implementation of wireless number portability

  Reference: 8620-C12-200510934
  In this Public Notice, the Commission invites comments on several issues related to the implementation of wireless number portability between wireless carriers and between those carriers and wireline local exchange carriers.



The Commission's three-year work plans, issued in 2004 and 2005, indicated that the issue of wireless number portability would be considered during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. In a letter dated 18 March 2005, the Minister of Industry informed the Commission that the Budget Plan tabled in Parliament on 23 February 2005, made reference, among other things, to the Government of Canada's intention to request the Commission to move expeditiously to implement wireless number portability. The Minister noted that consideration of wireless portability was included in the Commission's three-year work plan, and was therefore confident that the Commission would deal with this matter in an expeditious manner. The Minister indicated that the Government of Canada understood that wireless number portability included wireless-to-wireless, wireline-to-wireless and wireless-to-wireline number portability.


On 21 April 2005, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) announced that Canada's wireless carriers had agreed to implement number portability. To that end, the CWTA engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, to conduct an independent review and provide an implementation plan that could be used by the wireless industry to implement wireless number portability. Representatives from Industry Canada and the Commission participated as observers in the development of the implementation plan. The implementation report, entitled Implementation of Wireless Number Portability: Setting a New World-Class Standard, was presented by the CWTA to the Commission for information on 12 September 2005. The CWTA advised the Commission in its covering letter to the implementation report that it supports the conclusions arrived at by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Regulatory framework


In Implementation of regulatory framework - Local number portability and related issues, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-48, 10 November 1995, the Commission established a working group of interested parties to examine the technical, administrative and certain regulatory issues associated with the introduction of local number portability. On 14 June 1996, the Commission received a number of reports from various sub-committees of the working group. By letter dated 19 July 1996, the Commission adopted a number of the recommendations reached by consensus among the participants. In that letter, the Commission also invited comments on five issues, including location portability, for which consensus had not been reached.


On 25 October 1996, the Commission issued a letter setting out its determinations on these five issues. The Commission determined, among other things, that location portability should only be permitted as long as the new location of the telephone number remained within the boundaries of the original telephone company's telephone exchange or rate centre.


In Telecom Order CRTC 99-5, 8 January 1999 (Order 99-5), the Commission determined that local number portability should be limited to local exchange carriers (LECs), for two reasons: one related to number portability in particular, and the other to local exchange competition in general. In regard to number portability in particular, the Commission noted that for the purposes of rating calls and determining contribution payments based on traffic volumes, service providers are required to use a unique set of NXXs in each telephone exchange in which they operate. The Commission noted that permitting a non-LEC to access telephone number portability systems could result in the provision of local number portability by a service provider that does not have a unique set of NXXs, and therefore, does not meet the essential requirements of the framework established for local exchange competition.


Secondly, the Commission noted that the framework for local exchange competition set out obligations and privileges for competitive LECs (CLECs), and that extending the privilege of access to local number portability by non-LECs would alter the balance of those privileges and obligations.

Scope of the proceeding


In this proceeding, the Commission invites comment on modifying the current regulatory regime so that wireless carriers can directly port telephone numbers. The Commission notes that this ability may require the telecommunications industry to modify, inter alia, its number porting and customer transfer processes. The Commission considers that dealing expeditiously with the issues set out in this Public Notice will permit wireless number portability to be implemented at the earliest possible date.


The Commission will consider the following four issues in this proceeding:
  (a) how wireless carriers may gain direct access to number portability systems,1 and the terms and conditions that should apply;
  (b) what the appropriate service interval should be to port a telephone number to and/or from a wireless carrier;
  (c) what the eligible porting scenarios should be to port a telephone number to and/or from a wireless carrier; and
  (d) wireless number portability implementation time frames.


The Commission notes that it intends to issue a further public notice once it has reviewed the CWTA implementation plan in detail. The scope of the further proceeding could include such matters as:
  • Wireless services subject to number porting
  • The interchange of traffic between wireless carriers and LECs in a portability environment
  • Wireless carrier access to incumbent LEC (ILEC) operational support systems
  • Criteria for denying a wireless port
  • ILEC winback rules for wireless number ports
  • Directory listings and information provided for E-911 calls
  • Any other matters that may arise from a review of the implementation report

Access by wireless carriers to number portability systems


As noted above, in Order 99-5 the Commission limited access to local number portability systems to LECs. Since that decision, several circumstances have changed. One of the factors in the Commission's decision was the uncertainty that non-LECs could provide traffic routing in a manner that supported a traffic volume-based contribution regime. However, the Commission notes that contribution payments are now based on telecommunications-related revenue rather than traffic volumes and related call rating principles. Additionally, since Order 99-5 was issued, competition in the local exchange service market has evolved with the introduction of new serving technologies that are not provisioned in the same boundaries as the ILECs' local exchange areas.


The Commission considers that subscribers' ability to retain their current telephone numbers is a key element in minimizing service disruption. In the Commission's view, consumers should be given the widest possible choice of competing suppliers to meet their needs, and there should be minimal disruption in service when changing suppliers. The Commission, therefore, invites comment on (a) whether to permit wireless carriers to directly access local number portability systems, and (b) whether the terms and conditions for access to local number portability systems by existing LECs should be extended to wireless carriers, with or without modification.

The appropriate service interval to port a telephone number to and/or from a wireless carrier


In Incumbent local exchange carrier service intervals for various competitor services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2003-48, 18 July 2003 (Decision 2003-48), the Commission determined that the service interval for the provision of stand-alone ports should be two business days. The Commission invites comment on whether this interval is appropriate for porting numbers to and/or from wireless carriers. Parties proposing shorter porting intervals should comment on how any resulting additional costs should be defrayed.

Eligible porting scenarios involving wireless carriers


The Commission notes that due to the nature of wireless networks, service coverage areas are unlikely to be coterminous with telephone exchange boundaries. Further, wireless service customers do not receive service at a single geographic point, in that they can make and receive calls from any location they can receive a network signal.2


The Commission further notes that wireless carriers use North American Numbering Plan (NANP) geographic-based numbers that are associated with a specific rate centre that uniquely identifies and locates a telephone exchange. With NANP geographic numbers, all calls to a number associated with a rate centre are deemed to have originated or terminated at that rate centre. This rating principle also applies to all calls to wireless numbers.3


The Commission notes, however, that call routing between service providers is not subject to this same principle or restriction, in that it is not necessary for the interchange of traffic between service providers or carriers to occur within the telephone exchange associated with a rate centre. For example, the interchange of traffic can occur at points of interconnection that aggregate traffic for multiple exchanges.4


The Commission is of the view that these differences between wireline-based networks and wireless networks create three different number porting scenarios, namely: wireless-to-wireless, wireline-to-wireless, and wireless-to-wireline. The Commission is of the view that it is necessary to determine what constitutes an eligible number port for each of these scenarios. Thus, the Commission invites comment on eligible ports for each of the following scenarios :
  • wireless-to-wireless ports: the porting of telephone numbers between wireless carriers is permitted regardless of a subscriber's physical location or billing address, as long as the ported telephone number maintains its original telephone exchange/rate centre designation for rating purposes.
  • Wireline-to-wireless ports: the porting of telephone numbers between wireline-based carriers5 and wireless carriers is permitted as long as the telephone number maintains its original telephone exchange/rate centre designation for rating purposes.
  • Wireless-to-wireline ports: the porting of telephone numbers between wireless carriers and wireline-based carriers may be limited by the ability of a wireline-based network to provide service to a former wireless service customer when that customer's physical service location is located outside the telephone exchange area/rate centre associated with the telephone number to be ported. Therefore, it will be at the option of the wireline-based carrier to accept or deny porting of telephone numbers from wireless carriers when a customer's location is outside the telephone exchange area/rate centre associated with a ported telephone number.

Time frame for introducing wireless number portability


In its covering letter of 12 September 2005, the CWTA indicated that it supported the conclusions of the report and plans to deploy wireless number portability by 12 September 2007. This date would see wireless number portability being launched in all locations where local number portability currently exists, plus Regina and Saskatoon. For all other locations where local number portability does not exist, wireless number portability would be introduced within Commission-approved notification periods upon wireless carrier notification to the ILEC.


The Commission invites comments on CWTA's plan as it relates to the time frame for deploying wireless number portability, or comments on any other proposals, such as a phased approach, that could shorten the deployment time frame.



Aliant Mobility, Bell Mobility, MTS Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Sasktel Mobility, TELUS Mobility, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications, TELUS Communications Inc., Aliant Telecom Inc., Cogeco Cable Canada Inc., EastLink, ISP Telecom Inc., Exatel Inc., Vidéotron Télécom ltée, Globility Communications Corporation, FCS Broadband, Rogers Cable Communications Inc., and Maskatel Inc. are all made parties to this proceeding.


Other parties wishing to participate in this proceeding are required to notify the Commission of their intention to do so by 26 September 2005 (the registration date) and to provide their contact information. They are required to do so by contacting the Secretary General by mail at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, by fax at (819) 994-0218 or by e-mail at They are to indicate in the notice their e-mail address where available. If such parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings.


The Commission will issue, as soon as possible after the registration date, a complete list of parties and their mailing address (including their e-mail address, if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.


All parties may file comments with the Commission on any matter within the scope of this proceeding by 6 October 2005, serving a copy on all parties by that date.


All parties may file replies to any comments made pursuant to paragraph 22 by 17 October 2005, serving a copy on all parties by that date.


The Commission will not formally acknowledge comments. It will, however, fully consider all comments and they will form part of the public record of the proceeding.


Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.


Parties can file their submissions electronically or on paper. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.


Each paragraph of your submission should be numbered.


Where the submission is filed by electronic means, the line ***End of document*** should be entered following the last paragraph, as an indication that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.


Please note that only those submissions electronically filed will be available on the Commission's web site and only in the official language and format in which they are submitted.


The Commission encourages interested parties to monitor the public examination file (and/or the Commission's web site) for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.



All information submitted including your email address, name and any other personal information as provided, will be posted on the Commission's web site. Documents received in electronic format will be posted on the Commission's web site exactly as you send them, and in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in .pdf format.

Location of CRTC offices


Submissions may be examined or will be made available promptly upon request at the Commission offices during normal business hours:
  Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room 206
Gatineau, Quebec J8X 4B1
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218
  Metropolitan Place
99 Wyse Road, Suite 1410
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3A 4S5
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Fax: (902) 426-2721
  205 Viger Avenue West, Suite 504
Montréal, Quebec H2Z 1G2
Tel: (514) 283-6607
  55 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Tel: (416) 952-9096
  Kensington Building
275 Portage Avenue, Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Fax: (204) 983-6317
  Cornwall Professional Building
2125 - 11th Avenue, Suite 103
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3X3
Tel: (306) 780-3422
  10405 Jasper Avenue, Suite 520
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
  580 Hornby Street, Suite 530
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site:


1 The local number portability systems include the Number Portability Administration Centre and Services Management System database (NPAC/SMS), as well as the Canadian Local Number Portability Consortium (CLNPC).

2 With roaming capabilities, wireless service customers can seamlessly and automatically make and receive calls from anywhere in Canada and the United States.

3 Calls originating from wireless telephones are deemed to have originated from the physical location of the wireless handset at the time that a call is made.

4 See Trunking arrangements for the interchange of traffic and the point of interconnection between local exchange carriers, Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-46, 14 July 2004.

5 Wireline-based carriers includes both incumbent LECs and wireline and wireless CLECs.

Date Modified: 2005-09-16

Date modified: