UAE to deploy MNP by December

During Gitex Technology Week 2013, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that within two months, UAE service providers will deploy MNP (mobile number portability).

In December 2013, consumers will have the ability to switch service provider while keeping their existing number. TRA has identified MNP introduction as a proven and effective tool to introduce greater levels of competition in the UAE ICT sector and ultimately, improve the level of service available for consumers.

“An essential element in the health of the UAE’s mobile market is the ability of consumers to choose between competing providers. UAE mobile phone users have the right – if they wish – to retain their mobile number and this is precisely the motivation behind the announcement at Gitex Technology Week 2013,” said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director general, TRA.

“UAE consumers have a real appetite for mobile devices with the nation currently exhibiting a smartphone penetration rate of 73.8 percent and an even higher penetration of feature phones with a rate of 181 percent. Mobile number portability will immediately increase competition in the UAE’s ICT market, expedite the switching process, and do so in a way that directly benefits the consumer,” added Ghanim.

The TRA has instructed both UAE licensees, Etisalat and Du, to enable MNP having already made the necessary technical procedural adjustments ahead of time. Upon these instructions, UAE’s licensees will move towards a “recipient-led” process and to do so within two months.

Through adopting the new process, mobile number portability  will be handled solely by the new provider eliminating the need for the consumer to contact the previous provider to obtain a PAC code.

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