The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) reported that 61,000 mobile number porting requests were received by both licensees since the official launch of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service in December 2013.
The overwhelming response received to date reflects the strong interest by subscribers in the service and the willingness to use a service that enables the switch from one provider to another whilst keeping their original phone number.
“The launch of the Mobile Number Portability service falls in line with the wider TRA strategy aimed at promoting strong competition between the country’s two mobile services providers. This move will enhance the quality of services offered to consumers and in turn, drive levels of performance upwards,” commented H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the TRA.
“The significant number of porting requests received reflects the real interest of UAE consumers in the MNP service. The TRA is responsible for monitoring the service mechanisms, ensuring all the necessary documents and information is submitted to complete the transition and ultimately, ensuring the switchover process runs as smoothly as possible,” he added.
To date, more than 23,000 mobile numbers were ported out of the total requests, while many requests were resubmitted in order to obtain the required documents for the switchover. The TRA received a small number of complaints about the delay in number porting from some subscribers which were anticipated given that the MNP service is relatively new in the UAE. All complaints received were resolved through close cooperation with the licensees and the concerned customers. The TRA will continue to monitor licensee performance in and advise them on methods to complete the transition as quickly as possible.
The TRA also stressed that the subscribers should be aware of their obligations and responsibility outlined in the contracts signed with the licensee before submitting any MNP requests. Subscribers must review their existing contracts and particularly those who have signed contracts for a limited period of time where typically, termination fees result from ending a contract prematurely. The TRA also stated that the subscriber has the right to return to the original telecom operator during the first three days of the number transfer. After three days, the subscriber can still return to the original operator, but within one month at least after the transfer date.
TRA launched the MNP service after receiving assurances from both licensees that all the requirements and technical procedural adjustments were met ahead of time. Furthermore, this service emphasizes the strong competition in the UAE telecommunications sector and the presence of an advanced infrastructure that supports the needs and requirements of shifting towards a smart government.