On 1 July all three of Serbia’s cellcos enabled their mobile number portability (MNP) services. Mobilcom Serbia (Vip), Telenor Serbia and Mobile Telephony of Serbia (MTS) have all launched the service, which allows customers to switch operators without changing their number. Originally expected in March 2011, MNP experienced delays in November 2010, after encountering difficulties in acquiring the equipment. MTS will charge a ‘symbolic’ RSD1 (USD0.01) for transferring to its network, while Telenor and Vip are offering the service for free. Back in November, Telecommunications Minister Jasna Matic claimed that around 10% of customers are expected to change operators in the first year.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Serbia had 9.99 million wireless subscribers at the end of March 2011. At the same time, MTS was the market leader with 55.1% of the market share, against Telenor’s 30.6% and Vip’s 14.3%. In other markets, the introduction of MNP has often favoured the smaller operators picking up customers transferring their numbers from the more firmly established cellcos.