Local Number Portability Administrator Change Would Be ‘Costly Mess’

According to Report Change in Administrator Would Jeopardize Launch of Next Gen Wireless Services

Recon Analytics, an independent data analytics and consulting firm, today released a report finding that a change in the nation’s local number portability administrator (LNPA) could severely impact efforts by wireless providers to introduce innovative new services, such as voice over LTE (VoLTE), Web Real-Time Communication, Wideband Audio and Machine-to-Machine.  The report, titled “LNPA Transfer Would Cause Significant Industry Conflicts,” comes as the industry is considering the future of local number portability, currently administered by Neustar.

The LNPA manages more than 650 million telephone numbers, updates information in its registry over 1.5 million times per day and broadcasts that change to hundreds to network elements across the country in real time.

Report author Roger Entner, founder and lead analyst of Recon Analytics, said, “As a part of the underlying fabric of the US wireless market, LNP is vital to the evolution and protection of wireless networks.”  He explained, “a decommissioning and replacement of this infrastructure presents challenges and pitfalls for any service provider looking to maintain a superior customer experience while simultaneously undertaking disruptive innovations, such as VoLTE, within their own networks.”

The report explains that the work being done to expand and enhance wireless networks will keep engineering and IT organizations at full capacity, but a shift to a new LNPA provider will take resources aware from these projects – potentially delaying or derailing the projects outright.

The report’s key conclusions include the following:

  • LNPA transition could jeopardize the wireless industry’s move to VoLTE and next generation services.  These innovative new services require equally revolutionary changes in back office systems.
  • LNPA transition will probably not be smooth.  As we saw with healthcare.gov and Ericsson’s migration of O2’s central user database where seven million customers experienced a 20-hour outage, large database migrations are difficult and fraught with problems.
  • LNPA transition will likely be a costly mess.  According to research by Hal Singer, principal at Economists Incorporated , the transition cost will come to $719 million, which comes as a time when most carriers are tightening their belts.
  • LNPA transition could devalue carrier brands.  The negative impact the transition would have on wireless consumers would damage and devalue all brands.
  • LNPA transition could impede and increase the costs of M&A activity.  LNP infrastructure is critical to ensure that telecom mergers and acquisitions are seamless in the eyes of consumers.  Problems with a transition would slow mergers and acquisitions to a crawl or stop them entirely.

The full report, “LNPA Transfer Would Cause Significant Industry Conflicts,” which was funded by Neustar, is available on Recon Analytics’ site.

About Recon Analytics

The mission of Recon Analytics is to clear the clutter, help focus executives and policymakers on what is actually happening in the marketplace and what really matters, and make a positive impact on business and policy decisions. Founded and led by leading telecom analyst Roger Entner, Recon Analytics’ approach is bolstered by its industry-first executive advisory board, which helps us hone our strategy, improve our research, and provide unparalleled insights into the matters most relevant to the business and the public policies impacting it. With this foundation, Recon Analytics focuses on three core areas: Syndicated research, custom consulting, policy related data analysis, as well as white papers.

Roger Entner
February 11, 2014