Number Portability

Number Portability (NP) enables telephone users to retain their numbers while changing from one network operator (the 'donor') to another (the 'recipient'). This applies to fixed, mobile and non-geographic service numbers.

One major NP technical issue is the routing of calls or mobile messages to a number once it has been ported. There are various types of call routing implementations around the globe, but the most efficient method is to retain a central reference database (CRDB) of all ported numbers on a national scale. Network operators generally hold local copies of the CRDB and query it to find out which network to send a call to. This method is known as All Call Query (ACQ).


Our Number Portability Routing applications are based on ACQ. Our custom built routing system iNode, is connected to national CRDB's. All ported numbers are stored in an iNode database along with the appropriate network prefix plus date and time, in order for the number to be ported. When the date and time expires, the ported number and network prefix is sent to the iNode and the system database is updated.

For every originating national call, Albatross iNode will perform a lookup to check if the number is ported. Based on the call specific information received from the operator's switch or server, the iNode will return the correct routing and charging information. The routing information is returned according to international standard for Number Portability, e.g. routing prefix + operator ID + CalledPartyNumber (CdPN).

Through the use of this service, operators can reduce their interconnection costs for unnecessary transit calls and eliminate the need to pay the PSTN operator to perform NP lookups. Number analysis in the switch can be simplified and in addition all calls can be charged correctly. This is particularly important in the case of ported mobile numbers.

Albatross has successfully managed a wide range of Number Portability services since 2001.