After years of talk, looks like number portability is finally coming to the UAE and you will be able to change your provider from du to Etisalat or vice versa without changing your number. Available before the end of the year, TRA issued a statement about it today:
During the second day of Gitex Technology Week 2013, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that within two months, UAE consumers will have the ability to switch service provider while keeping their existing number. The regulated facility that enables this is referred to as mobile number portability (MNP) and the TRA has identified its introduction by December 2013 as a proven and effective tool to introduce greater levels of competition in the UAE ICT sector and ultimately, improve the level of service available for consumers.
“An essential element in the health of the UAE’s mobile market is the ability of consumers to choose between competing providers. UAE mobile phone users have the right – if they wish – to retain their mobile telephone number and this is precisely the motivation behind the announcement at Gitex Technology Week 2013,” said H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General. “UAE consumers have a real appetite for mobile devices with the nation currently exhibiting a smartphone penetration rate of 73.8 percent and an even higher penetration of feature phones with a rate of 181 percent. Mobile number portability will immediately increase competition in the UAE’s ICT market, expedite the switching process, and do so in a way that directly benefits the consumer,” he added.
The TRA has instructed both UAE licensees, Etisalat and Du, to enable MNP having already made the necessary technical procedural adjustments ahead of time. Upon these instructions, UAE’s licensees will move towards a “recipient-led” process and to do so within two months. Through adopting the new process, mobile number transfer will be handled solely by the new provider eliminating the need for the consumer to contact the previous provider to obtain a PAC code.