Posted on: 4th January 2024, by Magrathea
Welcome to the first Magrathea Newsletter of 2024, combining news from Magrathea and around the industry.
Closing off 2023
In case you missed it, our MD wrote a short post to close off the year and send our seasons greetings, you can catch up with it here.
Emergency Services Calls
If you do not already have access to 999/112 via Magrathea, we can offer a fully reliable service that has been extensively tested by the BT Emergency Handling Authority (EHA). Once you are signed up for this service, name and address data can be submitted via our API’s and 999/112 calls passed via your outbound account will be sent through to the EHA.
If you would like more information on this service, please get in touch.
Digest authentication with IP screening on SIP
For SIP originated calls, we offer three secure ways for your traffic to be authenticated. Registration via username and password, pre-authorised IP address or digest authentication – which is a combination of the first two.
With digest authentication your username and password registration can have an IP mask applied to it, so that our servers recognise which account you are using but only allowing traffic using that username if the IP address is one that has been pre-registered.
As well as offering an additional layer of security, it will also mean that you can use the same IP for authentication on two different accounts which you could not otherwise do, for example when using a standard account and a gold account simultaneously.
There is no charge to use this and if you would like to use it on your accounts, please contact our support team with your instructions.
Gaining Provider Led Switching & Porting
Quite a bit has happened since our last newsletter. Most notably the official ‘go-live’ date, originally set for 14th March 2024, has now been postponed. Some larger operators have confirmed they will not be ready in time and so adjustments are now being made to the plan. See the TOTSCO update here for more details.
Meanwhile TOTSCO continue to publish updates and the latest user guide for the new process and hub (for residential switching) can be found here.
For business providers the situation remains uncertain. The Gaining Provider Led for Business Steering Group (GPLB-SG) continue to meet and are pressing TOTSCO for their commitment to incorporate a suitable solution for business transactions. We will provide further updates when they become available and you can check here too for all the latest information: https://www.fcs.org.uk/gaining-provider-led-business-switching/
A flurry of consultations and statements
With the usual raft of consultations and statements appearing over the last few weeks we have provided a short summary of each of the main ones on our radar. It makes for a long list so grab a cup of tea, a biscuit or two and check if anything is relevant to you. If you would like to discuss any of these in more detail please do get in touch.
Ofcom: ADR Schemes
This call for inputs is Ofcom’s review of the current scheme providers. The document can be found here and if you wish to contribute you have until 10th January to submit your response to Ofcom.
Ofcom: Premium Rate Regulation
Ofcom are consulting on moving regulation of PRS services away from the current PSA organisation and bringing it under Ofcom. They intend to retain many of the current principles but are proposing a few changes.
They propose a new narrower definition “Controlled Premium Rate Services” which essentially means the regulation will cover chatlines, ICSS or sexual content service (provided on any number) and also any service provided on PRS numbers where the cost of the call – the service charge element – exceeds 5.833 pence per minute or call, and also any service provided on a non-PRS number where the cost of the call exceeds 10 pence per minute.
A key thing to note is that they propose including 084 ranges in the definition of PRS.
There will also be a requirement for all providers using these numbers or providing these services to register with Ofcom, but there will be no cost for doing so.
For full details please see the consultation here. You have until 23rd January to share your views with Ofcom!
Ofcom: Revenue Sharing
In December we flagged one consultation relating to revenue sharing, if this is relevant to you please do read our summary here, responses are due 2nd February so please let us have any comments or concerns by mid-January if you would like us to include them in our response.
Comreg: Emergency Caller Location Information
Clients working with Irish users will need to watch for changes being proposed to the information submitted for emergency calls. Comreg are proposing to introduce the use of ‘Eircode’ rather than postal address where possible to allow for greater accuracy in finding a caller. Additional requirements are also suggested for mobile networks. Full details can be found here and responses are due by 5th February.
Ofcom: Draft Plan of Work – 2024/25
Ofcom have defined their priority outcomes as:
- Internet we can rely on
- Media we trust and value
- We live a safer life online
- Enabling wireless services in the wider economy
Within the ‘Internet we can rely on’ section Ofcom confirm they will begin the Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review and Wholesale Voice Market Review (the review needs to be complete to take effect in 2026).
They are also prioritising network security and resilience, the migration from legacy services and old technologies and monitoring consumer protection rules.
We are once again very disappointed to see that mention of number porting and a common numbering database have been dropped. Industry widely agree these are vital topics for us to work on in order to deliver on the priority outcomes but Ofcom clearly fail to see them as important to see through. We will be responding along these lines before the deadline of 9th February. The consultation can be found here and we welcome any comments or concerns you might want us to include in our response.
Ofcom: Mid-Contract Price Rises
A hot topic in the media, you will no doubt be aware that Ofcom are consulting on the prohibition of inflation-linked mid-contract price rises with a statement due this Spring and the regulation taking effect very quickly after. The ban would prevent inflation-linked price rises and price rises set out in percentage terms but would allow a clearly defined (in pounds and pence) increase as long as it’s clear to the customer before they sign the contract.
The consultation can be viewed here and responses are due by 13th February.
DSIT: Security and resilience of infrastructure
This consultation comes from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and looks primarily at data centres and data storage facilities. They are asking providers and users of these services to contribute by 22nd February. The full document can be found here. Magrathea are currently reviewing this consultation in detail and will share more thoughts in due course.
Ofcom: Guidance on resilience and security
Ofcom are proposing to update existing guidance which sets out expectations on CPs and how they comply with the Communications Act 2003. This includes things like ensuring that key infrastructure has automatic failover built in and no single point of failure.
There is also a large focus of this consultation on power resilience, specifically on mobile radio access networks and what options are available to improve back up power.
The consultation can be read here and response are due by 1st March.
We did warn you it was quite a list! We are still waiting on a statement from Comreg relating to multi-level reselling and CLI handling plus Ofcom’ statement on CLI. Both of which we are expecting any day now. As those are likely to have significant impact to us and our clients we will do detailed summaries as soon as they are released.
Comms Council Women in Telecoms
CCUK are hosting the second face to face Women in Telecoms event this month. If you would like to come along and see if this group is for you please get in touch and we will arrange an invite. If travel to London is awkward please note the meetings are normally held online so just get in touch if you would like to get involved in future sessions.
What’s on our minds…
Of course January feels like a good time to reflect on the previous year, what has worked well and what tweaks need to be made for the year ahead but for us, being halfway through our business year, we find it especially important to take stock of how we are doing against our plan and make any adjustments needed to keep us on track for a good year.
With so much going on in our industry right now it’s especially important that we do these reviews regularly and remain flexible. Despite spending plenty of time planning what we want to achieve we also know we are likely to have a few curve balls heading our way and need to be ready for them, this month we will be ensuring we are clear on our current priorities and have the right people and skills in place to tackle them.
If any of our clients or potential clients would like to chat through their own plans and priorities and see where we can offer more support and align our goals, we would love to hear from you. Just get in touch with Linda or Hayley for an informal catch up.
As always here at Magrathea we appreciate your comments and feedback, if there is anything you would like to contact us about, or you would like to opt out of receiving future newsletters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Magrathea Telecommunications Ltd
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The information contained in this guidance is for your information only and is not intended to be relied on. It does not constitute legal professional advice, nor is it a substitute for you obtaining your own legal professional advice. Magrathea accepts no liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or statements in this guidance or for any loss which may arise from your use of this guidance.