Local Number Porting is defined as the ability of users of telecommunications services to retain,
at the same location, existing telecommunications numbers without impairment of quality, reliability,
or convenience when switching from one telecommunications carrier to another. Before
Local Number Porting (LNP) was introduced, switching service providers meant users would be
required to get a new telephone number. After the introduction of LNP, also known simply as
number porting, end-users could generally keep their telephone number(s) when moving from
one telecommunications service provider to another (with some limitations – e.g. so long as they
didn’t move too far).
Allowing end-users to retain the same telephone number after changing service providers is a
huge benefit to consumers. With the implementation of local number porting, users no longer
need to update friends, family, billing platforms, secondary logins, etc. with new preferred contact
information (not to mention memorizing a completely new telephone number).
In addition to the obvious benefits for the end-user, LNP also offers significant benefits to businesses that offer this service (most telecom providers are required to offer LNP – only a few small ILECs are exempt from this rule). Not only can it be a new billable service for businesses, but LNP further increases competition in the local telephone service market. Studies have shown that consumers, who are given the option of keeping their same telephone number, are significantly more likely to change service providers. Whether it be for improved customer service, enhanced features, issues with their current service provider, or a cheaper service plan.