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Mobily forced to halt mobile number portability

Mobily complains to regulator after technical problems at STC hinder mobile number portability

Mobile operator Mobily has filed an official complaint with Saudi Arabia’s telecom regulator after it was forced to temporarily halt its mobile number portability service owing to “technical problems” at STC, the country’s incumbent operator.

Mobily said in a statement that it had received more than 16,000 complaints about number portability “requests that could not be processed” owing to the problem.

STC informed Mobily earlier in the week that it was experiencing technical problems, forcing it to put the number portability service on hold.

Mobile number portability, which was introduced in Saudi Arabia in 2006, is widely viewed as being important to competition in the mobile sector because it allows mobile users to switch networks while retaining their original cell phone number.

Mobily, which is a division of the UAE’s Etisalat, runs 2G, 3G and 3G+ services in Saudi Arabia.