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TRA reports high demand for MNP

UAE regulator downplays complaints over number transfer delays

H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director-general, TRA.
H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director-general, TRA.

The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has reported that 61,000 mobile number porting requests were received by du and Etisalat since the official launch of the mobile number portability (MNP) service in December last year.

"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," said H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director-general, TRA.

"This move will enhance the quality of services offered to consumers and in turn, drive levels of performance upwards.

"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."

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.

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The TRA claims only "a small number" of complaints have been received from subscribers about the delay in number porting.

"[These] were anticipated given that the MNP service is relatively new in the UAE," the regulator said in a statement.

"All complaints received were resolved through close co-operation with the licensees and the concerned customers. The TRA will continue to monitor licensee performance and advise them on methods to complete the transition as quickly as possible."

The TRA also stressed that subscribers should be aware of their obligations outlined in the contracts signed with the licensee before submitting any MNP requests.

It advised subscribers to review their existing contracts, 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 said that subscribers had the right to return to their 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 must wait for one month after the transfer date.