Mobile phone number portability to go online by December - TRA UAE

By Marc Castro

Oct 22, 2013 10:06 AM EDT

The telecommunications authority of the United Arab Emirates said that postponed plans for mobile phone number portability would be made possible by December of last year. This comes five years after the service was to be allowed to boost competition in the state-controlled sector.

With number portability, it would allow customers between rival operators Etisalat and du to switch providers yet retain the same phone number. The TRA would now introduce the number portability by December according to a statement issued by Monday.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had indicated the system would be introduced by mid-2008. Unfortunately, the service had been repeatedly delayed, with the regulator saying there would be technical issues with the system.

Du had ended the domestic monopoly in 2007, but both companies though are owned by state sovereign wealth funds. Many analysts say the competition between the two is relatively low key compared to the other markets in Europe and the Gulf region.

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