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iconectiv Begins Number Portability Testing

May 17, 2017

Ericsson’s iconectiv yesterday began industry testing related to local number portability. This is happening more than two years after the Federal Communications Commission awarded the company a contract to be the nation’s Local Number Portability Administrator.

But getting this right is important, given everybody from consumers to businesses, emergency response and law enforcement, and carriers rely on the Number Portability Administration Center routing database. Indeed, this database is considered a critical part of the infrastructure in the U.S.

That’s because the database enables subscribers to switch service providers without having to change phone numbers. And by ensuring that businesses and individuals receive calls and texts intended for them, the database helps with fraud reduction. This national database also ensures reliability and correct information related to 911 services and law enforcement investigations.

Neustar Inc. has been managing the NPAC for about two decades, and reportedly made more than $3 billion doing that between 1997 and 2015, accounting for about half of the company’s revenues. But a few years ago the job came up for government bid, and Ericsson AB’s Telcordia won the deal in March of 2015.

Telcordia now offers services under the iconectiv brand. Although this is a relatively new name, Telcordia has a long and strong history in communications.

The company got its start as Bellcore, the R&D effort of the Bell companies. It later went independent and was renamed Telcordia. Then, in 2012, Ericsson bought Telcordia to capture its expertise and technology related to operational and business support systems and related technologies. And in 2013 Ericsson launched the iconectiv brand for its interconnection services.

As of yesterday, iconectiv and others began the first phase of NPAC testing. This phase will require companies that access NPAC through direct Service Order Administration or Local Service Management System to validate that their systems interface properly with the iconectiv NPAC. Vendors will be involved in the first part of this testing, and then service bureaus and service providers will do such testing, which is mandatory for any organization using the SOA or LSMS interfaces.

Optional testing will open up after that. That’s expected to commence in the second half of this year, after this first phase of testing is complete. The optional testing will address things like Ancillary Services, Data Migration, LTI GUI, and Group and Round Robin.

A spokeswoman for iconectiv told me this morning that the company is on track to complete the transition from Neustar managing the NPAC to iconectiv managing the NPAC by the second quarter of 2018, with a final acceptance date in May 2018. The Neustar contract was originally set to expire in September 2016, but was extended to provide for the completion of the transition, she added. Following the transition, iconectiv will be the sole administrator for all seven of the U.S. NPAC regions.

As for Neustar, the company’s website indicates it has other products and services. It delivers marketing solutions related to customer activation and intelligence, identity data management, and marketing analytics; risk solutions, including compliance and fraud prevention solutions; security offerings, including protection against distributed denial of service of attack, DNS services, and website performance management; core registry and digital naming services; and communications capabilities, including address and routing, caller identification, order management, and number management solutions.

Edited by Alicia Young

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