The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that the long-awaited introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the United Arab Emirates will finally take place by the end of the year. ‘An essential element in the health of the UAE’s mobile market is the ability of consumers to choose between competing providers,’ the TRA’s director general Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim said in a statement, adding: ‘MNP will immediately increase competition in the ICT market, expedite the switching process, and do so in a way that directly benefits the consumer.’ Having already made the necessary technical procedural adjustments, the country’s two mobile licensees, Etisalat and Du, have been instructed by the regulator to enable portability by December. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the introduction of MNP in the UAE has encountered numerous delays, the most recent of which saw the TRA suspend the launch of the service indefinitely in September 2011, with the regulator citing technical issues as the reason behind the move.
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