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Mobile number portability in UAE by Q1: TRA

The regulator ruled out the possibility of a third operator in the country

Mobile number portability in UAE by Q1: TRA
Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA said that the market cannot take a third telecom operator in the country.

Etisalat and Du, the two telecom operators in the UAE, are gearing up to launch mobile number portability (MNP) by this March end, according to a report by Reuters which quoted the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority as saying.

Once operational, this service will enable mobile phone users in the UAE to retain their existing mobile numbers while they migrate between the two service providers in the country.

Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the TRA was quoted saying that the move will stimulate competition between the two operators in a saturated local telecom market as they will try to hold onto their customers. "Both operators will be in readiness by the end of this month. Then the TRA will test it," he added.

Ghanim also said that there is no possibility of issuing a third operator licence in the country. "The market cannot take it," Ghanim was quoted in the report.

Earlier, Etisalat and Du announced that it will be carrying out testing of their shared networks pilots during the first quarter of 2011, which is ahead of a national roll-out this year. Upon implementation, the shared networks will break the monopolies held by the two telcos in their respective areas of coverage, and enable them to gain access to each other's broadband internet and television networks.

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