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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Delayed Again: Mobile Number Portability

After wetting our appetite at the prospect for launching mobile number portability (MNP) earlier this year, we've again seen this has been delayed as per the announcement from the TRA till Q3/2011 (click here to see a story on this in Arabian Business).

The issue of MNP has been something that we'd been told for years would be coming to the UAE and in many mature and developing markets, this has happened much, much earlier.  In Hong Kong for example, they've had MNP for well-over a decade.  In India, it started recently to much success.
MNP is in full-force in India. Image courtesy: connect.in.com

By announcing that it's coming soon and then delaying it, the TRA has actually killed competition instead of encouraging it.  I know of many people who've been talking to me saying that they didn't want to change their number thus didn't move from one operator to the other but with MNP they would do it since it was coming soon.

Soon doesn't seem soon enough and I'm sure if many of these people were aware of the fact that soon meant several years, many of them may've considered changing their number if it meant they'd save a significant amount of money over the period.

I certainly hope the TRA doesn't put in another set of delays and hope that we do see a truly competitive telecom landscape in the UAE soon enough.

Previous posts on our blog for MNP can be seen at the below links:

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics