ACA releases mobile portability guidelines

Mobile phone users should be guaranteed quick connection between competing carriers under new Australian Communications Authority (ACA) guidelines.

The guidelines, designed to allow customers to change phone companies while keeping their existing numbers, will be introduced on September 25.

The rules detail what the ACA wants in terms of connection times between competing mobile telecommunication services, call failure rates, and other responsibilities for carriage providers.

The ACA said that carriers must not allow a significant post-dialling delay for a switched call to a customer with a mobile number on their own network, compared to a customer with a mobile service on a competitors' network.

It "must not be greater than three seconds in 98 per cent of switched call cases; and five seconds in 99.9 per cent of circuit-switched call cases."

The ACA said the rate of failure caused by congestion or malfunction for circuit-switched calls to ported mobile numbers must not exceed that for circuit switched calls to non-ported mobile numbers by more than one additional percentage point.

Affected carriers and carriage service providers will be required to provide a one-off certification that its network complies with the equivalent service criteria based upon its design and implementation.

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