In its session on December 22, 2008, the Telekom Control Commission prohibited mobilkom austria AG from charging a "deinstallation fee" to customers who wish to switch telephone service providers and use number porting in accordance with Art. 23 of the Austrian Telecommunications Act (TKG) 2003 (Procedure R 10/08). This fee applied to subscribers who had chosen an A1 NETWORK rate plan in connection with various additional services or who choose such a plan in the future.
mobilkom's terms and conditions of mobile service also provided for extraordinary termination by mobilkom in cases where the customer wished to port his/her number to another operator.
This brought about a situation in which business customers who had chosen an A1 NETWORK rate plan in connection with certain additional packages and then wished to use the option of number porting were forced to pay a deinstallation fee to mobilkom. This deinstallation fee was charged in addition to any remaining fees incurred. Although the deinstallation fee – as a form of lump-sum compensation for early termination of the contract – was not only applicable in cases of number porting, this fee was generally charged when number porting was used under the aforementioned rate plan in connection with certain additional services.
As the option of number porting is intended to encourage competition, charging such a deinstallation fee clearly runs counter to this objective.