Rwanda to introduce MTN Uganda’s worst nightmare: Mobile Number Portability

We’ve always written about mobile number portability ; yes that service that will let you use your current mobile number on whichever network your heart desires, and this reality will soon be true for the citizens of Rwanda. According to Business Times, Rwanda is considering introducing mobile number portability (MNP). This was relieved in an interview with Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, the head of communications regulator Rura, who stated that they hired a consultant last year to study the feasibility of the project and what it would cost a subscriber to port.

The consultant that Rura hired, submitted the study report last month, and the regulator is currently discussing it with policy-makers and industry stakeholders. Mutabazi said that Rura now has an idea on how number portability can be implemented, but there was a need to discuss at the policy level the costs involved in the setting up a centralized system.

Early this year in February, our very own regulator UCC declared mobile number portability a no go for Ugandan mobile phone users due to external forces that were against it and also citing the popular use of dual SIM phones. In what has been seen as a U-turn for UCC in November, the regulator held a sensitization workshop involving several stakeholders, whose aim was to forge a way forward and bring about free and fair competition in Uganda’s telecom Industry. And, see what it would take to introduce MNP in Uganda. The several complexities involved in implementing MNP were presented by Mr. Hauser from iConectiv (see tweet below)

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We all know that having the biggest number of mobile subscribers currently at 10 million, MNP is a real nightmare for MTN Uganda and it’s belived that the company will do anything to stall its implementation. In reality, in order for project like the East African One Area Network, to be fully operational just like what EU has, MNP is a good stepping stone to achieve such goals and will make mobile communications in the region cheaper.

But do Ugandan’s really need MNP? You can leave a response in the comment section below.