The Pakistani telecoms watchdog, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), has announced that mobile number portability (MNP) will be introduced from 23 March 2007. As long ago as April 2005 the PTA announced that MNP should be introduced from 1 January 2006, but the service was delayed by a failure to agree charges for calls between ported numbers, whilst fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) cited a string of technical problems in its attempts to implement the necessary changes to its network and systems for MNP.
Latest figures from the PTA suggest the total number of wireless users at the end of January stood at 50.75 million, up from 34 million at mid-2006. Mobilink led the market with 23.29 million subscribers, followed by Ufone with 10.55 million. Al Warid Telecom and Telenor claimed 7.9 million and 7.6 million subscribers respectively at the same date.