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There are various flavours of call routing implementation across the globe but the International and European best practice is via the use of a central database (CDB) of ported numbers.

A network operator makes copies of the CDB and queries it to find out to which network to send a call.

Because of its donor dependent nature, indirect routing also means that if the donor network develops a fault or goes out of business, the customers who have ported numbers out of that network will lose incoming calls to their numbers.

The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of the UK MNP process on 29 November 2007, and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than 1 September 2009.

According to RFC3482, this is also known as All Call Query (ACQ) and is highly efficient and scalable.

A majority of the established and upcoming MNP systems across the world are based on this ACQ/CDB method of call routing.

On 8 July 2010, Ofcom issued a final statement, retaining the donor-led process, mandating a two-hour PAC release time, and reducing the porting time from two to one working day.

In a decentralised model of MNP, a FNR (flexible number register) may be used to manage a database of ported out/ported in numbers for call routing.

On 17 July 2007, Ofcom released its conclusions from the review of the UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days effective 1 April 2008.The customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the donor to obtain a code (Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) in the UK and Unique Porting Code (UPC) in India) which is then given to the recipient network.The recipient continues the porting process by contacting the donor with a porting code.This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.Based on the recommendations of the Authority on MNP, dated 8 March 2006, the Department of Telecommunications (Do T) issued guidelines for MNP implementation in the country on 1st Aug 2008.

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