Number portability

A solution consisting of a combination of application integration, data integration and API management
Number portability is the ability to keep existing phone numbers when switching to another telecom provider. The Netherlands, Hong Kong and the UK were the first to introduce it 25 years ago. Since providers do not know from each other who has which subscriber, a central solution is needed to provide and regulate portability in a country.


Through legislation, over 120 countries worldwide have now implemented number portability. The lack of number portability has a number of disadvantages. Users are tied to one provider, prices are high due to lack of competition, and when they switch they get a different phone number.


Since its inception in the Netherlands, Referit realized number portability in over 20 countries together with business partners such as ATL Communications in the US. We make it possible for regulators and operators to implement number portability in a country. Wondering how number portability works and what is involved to make the platform work? You can read about it in this article.

Referit's role includes development, implementation, maintenance and management (7x24 hours on SLA basis) of the central database, gateway and number portability applications. The solutions processed an average of 500 transactions per second in 2020, and we served 500,000,000 people worldwide with the solutions we developed

"Based on our experience with Referit, I would highly recommend them on any project, no matter the size. They are truly experienced professionals when it comes to Local Number Portability."
Mark Bilton-Smith, President ATL Communications


The solution consists of a combination of application integration, data integration and API management of:

  • Number portability application (.NET, C#)
  • Central database (PostgreSQL and CosmosDB)
  • APIs for automatic exchange of XML messages with a country's operators and regulator
  • Redundant architecture in our data centers or in the Microsoft Azure Cloud
  • Extensive scale up and scale out possibilities for 'start small, grow big' and absorbing peak loads
  • Various external integrations such as directory guide, police, customs, data providers, etc.


The introduction of the number portability solution in a country has several advantages. For people with telephone subscriptions, among other things, it provides the following things:

  • Lower prices
  • More options and more innovation
  • Better support and larger coverage area

And for regulators:

  • Introducing a more competitive landscape with a more level playing field
  • Stimulation of innovation
  • Larger coverage area