Mobiltel, Bulgaria’s largest cellco, has refused to agree to wireless number portability (MNP) rules proposed by the country’s telecom regulator the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC). According to local daily Dnevnik, the company announced its decision just a day before the deadline for approval of the procedure. The other two carriers, Globul and BTC’s Vivatel, accepted the terms, but under current legislation MNP cannot take effect unless all three carriers agree to it. Portability had been expected to become operational from 1 January 2007.
According to Nikolai Kichev, head of Mobiltel’s regulatory policy department, under the current telecom law the CRC has no regulatory oversight on the market for mobile telecom services. Mobiltel cited gaps in the effective legislation as the reason for its refusal to adopt MNP, claiming that the legislators gave wireless number portability a very brief and ‘fuzzy’ definition and failed to designate oversight to any state body. A new bill on electronic communications, which has yet to be adopted by parliament, will fill the existing legislative gaps, said Mobiltel. The company said it was ready to launch the service once the new bill is enacted.