About NP Systems
NP SYSTEMS is an Azerbaijani company focusing on implementation and provision of Number Portability services in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The company has built a strong team for delivery, implementation and provision of Number Portability Administrative Services and has established new connections with companies known worldwide working in the area of Number Portability for a long time. «NP SYSTEMS» is owned by an Azerbaijani private capital and has an exclusive partnership agreement on delivery, provision and support of Number Portability platform with the leading European vendor of Number Portability solutions, which has successfully deployed NP solutions in several countries during the past several years. Such cooperation allows «NP SYSTEMS» to ensure and provide with the best premium quality Number Portability Development, Implementation and Number Portability Administration Services for Azerbaijan including support and provision of Help Desk services to telecommunications operators and telecommunications service providers of Azerbaijan. All support-related services will be available through local Help Desk service in the Azerbaijani language by phone, fax and e-mail. Help Desk staff will be located in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the premises «NP SYSTEMS».
The MNP(Mobile Number Portability) service successfully launched on 1st February of 2014.
«NP SYSTEMS» - is the main vendor for NPCDB provider that helps NPCDB administrator to provide NPCDB services for operators, and operators provide MNP services for own customers
«NP SYSTEMS» - is offering a full range of Number Portability related services to the National Regulatory Authorities of Azerbaijan, including consulting, planning, development, and, of course, delivering, project implementation and administration of the national Number Portability Central Database. Starting with an idea of introducing the Number Portability service in the country and finalizing all the processes of service implementation by start of routine administration of national Number Portability Central Database, our company can help the National Regulatory Authorities to make the Number Portability service a true success story and to ensure better satisfaction of the Azerbaijani customers of telecommunications services. You will find some facts about the Number Portability service and its positive impact on the development of the telecommunications market below (divided in four simple sub-groups):
1. The essence of the Number Portability
The Number Portability service provides the subscribers with an ability to retain their subscriber numbers when changing telecommunications network operator, service provider, service type or location without any loss of service quality. The Number Portability service “at a glance”:
You change your telecommunications network operator/service provider;
You keep your subscriber number;
Your subscriber number does not contain identification of your telecommunications network operator and/or service provider.
The usual types of the Number Portability service are the following:
a) Service provider portability/network operator portability:
It is an ability to retain the subscriber number when switching from one telecommunications service provider/network operator to another. This type of Number Portability is applicable to subscribers of fixed and mobile telecommunications services.
b) Service type portability:
It is an ability to retain the subscriber number when switching from one telecommunications service to another (e. g., from GSM to UMTS for mobile telecommunications). This type of Number Portability is also applicable to subscribers of fixed and mobile telecommunications services.
c) Location portability:
It is an ability to retain the subscriber number when changing from one physical location to another (within the geographical borders of one area code). This type of Number Portability is applicable just to subscribers of fixed telecommunications network operators /service providers. It is important to know that combination of (a) and (b) types of Number Portability is applicable to subscribers of mobile telecommunications networks only and the combination of (a), (b) and (c) types of Number Portability is applicable to subscribers of fixed telecommunications networks only. The Number Portability when the subscriber is changing his/her fixed telecommunications network operator/service provider to mobile telecommunications network operator/service provider and vice versa technically is possible; however, such type of Number Portability is not in use in most countries where Number Portability is already implemented.
2. The real value of Number Portability for subscribers
Many of residential and business subscribers are willing to change their telecommunications service providers in order to get better services for smaller prices. However, they have typically come up against a number of different obstacles, which often made the process of changing providers costly and uncomfortable. One of the important obstacles to development of competition was the inherited necessity for subscribers to change their numbers when changing telecommunications service providers. For business customers, in addition to the costs of amending stationery and promotional materials and of informing clients and suppliers of the change, a distinctive and recognizable telephone number (or number ranges) is often a core brand asset that the business simply cannot lose. Otherwise, the business relations may be destructed what may cause the collapse of the business itself.
With all this in mind, many National Regulatory Authorities of Telecommunications around the world have mandated the introduction of Number Portability as a pro-competitive policy applying to both fixed-line and mobile sectors. Most of the Authorities have required that the Number Portability is available only between similar services, e.g., fixed-line-to-fixed-line or mobile-to-mobile. It is noticeable that introduction of the Number Portability as the “key facilitator of consumer choice and effective competition” is mandatory for all EU countries as it's defined in the EU directive 2002/22/EC of 7 March 2002.
3. CRDB – a heart of the national Number Portability system
In most of the countries where Number Portability is implemented, it’s done by the use of a Central Reference Database (hereinafter – CRDB) because it is a very modern and proved solution ensuring smooth and strictly synchronized/controlled process execution. The CRDB is an administrative reference database, a “heart” of the national Number Portability system; it is not used for call set-up or routing of calls, it is not connected with telecommunications network elements (e.g., not connected to digital exchanges, intelligent network platforms of network operators), but it tracks and controls all processes of porting of numbers, also stores the information about the ported numbers, stores association of the ported numbers with telecommunications networks currently servicing the numbers.
The CRDB works as the only interface and director between the telecommunications network operators and service providers in the administrative process of porting of numbers facilitating port transactions. All administrative communication essential for smooth, strict-timed execution of porting is sent through the CRDB. Once the parties directly involved into administrative process of porting a particular number have agreed and subscriber ports the number, the CRDB is used to inform other parties – telecommunications network operators and service providers – in the jurisdiction of the porting. What is important from the National Regulatory Authorities’ point of view and also from the customers’ point of view, is that the usage of CRDB–based landscape of the national Number Portability system as the basic element of the national Number Portability system ensures a very fast porting and shortening of the off-line time during the process of porting the numbers. It greatly increases the attractiveness of the Number Portability service and, accordingly, helps subscribers a lot in use of this service when needed and without any doubts.
4. Supporters and opponents of Number Portability
A great opportunity for the newcomers:
Typically, all the late entrants in the local telecommunications market tend to see Number Portability service as a great opportunity and a strong tool to increase acquisition, which it can. They actively support introduction of the service in the country. The Number Portability removes one of the main barriers, which customers face when attempting to change their telecommunications network operator or service provider. However, acquisition must not be prioritized at the cost of customer retention strategies.
A clear threat for the regular market players:
Incumbent operators and service providers normally tend to see Number Portability as a serious threat challenging their market positions. Often during the process of introducing the service in the country, they try to inhibit the process in very different ways. However, Number Portability does not have to be a threat, but rather an opportunity that should be embraced. For an incumbent operator several possibilities also exist, which can be leveraged to the benefit of ARPU growth and Acquisitions strategies.