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22 April 2024

Mobile number portability not yet

By Parag Deulgaonkar

UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) will announce launch of mobile number portability once the two telecoms operators are ready with the service.

“The commercial launching date for mobile number portability service will be announced after ensuring the readiness of both operators as soon as possible,” a TRA spokesperson told 'Emirates24|7'.

There are no details on whether TRA has commenced testing the facility or by when is the commercial launch expected.

Etisalat and du, the two telecoms operators, did not comment.

Mobile number portability was first announced in the UAE in January 2011, but technical glitches have delayed the launch.

TRA had announced in April 2011 that the facility would be launched in the third quarter of 2011 with Mohammad Nasser Al Ganem, TRA's Director-General, then stating: “It will stimulate competition between the two operators because operators will try to hold onto their customers."

The portability facility will allow etisalat and du customers to keep their old numbers if they switch providers.

Oman was the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to launch the service in 2006 followed by Bahrain in 2011.

Earlier this month, Qatar launched a mobile number portability service, allowing customers of Qtel and Vodafone Qatar to retain their existing mobile number when they switch provider. The process is being led by the National Numbering Committee, which was established by ictQATAR with participation from Qtel and Vodafone Qatar.