Mobile Number Portability

Posted: 11 Dec 2004

See all articles by Stefan Buehler

Stefan Buehler

University of St. Gallen - SEPS: Economics and Political Sciences

Justus Haucap

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

This paper examines the consequences of introducing mobile number portability (MNP). We show that if the sole effect of introducing MNP is the abolishment of switching costs, MNP unambiguously benefits mobile customers. However, if MNP also causes consumer ignorance, as telephone numbers no longer identify networks, mobile operators will increase termination charges, with ambiguous net effect on the surplus of mobile customers. We examine how extensions such as MNP based on call-forwarding, termination fee regulation, and alternative means of carrier identification affect these findings and discuss policy implications.

Keywords: Number portability, switching costs, telecommunications, network competition

JEL Classification: L13, L51, L96

Suggested Citation

Buehler, Stefan and Haucap, Justus, Mobile Number Portability. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=630383

Stefan Buehler (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - SEPS: Economics and Political Sciences ( email )

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Switzerland
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Justus Haucap

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.dice.uni-duesseldorf.de

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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