The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has confirmed that the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the United Arab Emirates has been postponed, as the country’s two telecoms operators, Etisalat and Du, are not yet technically ready to launch the service. According to Emirates 24/7, which cites a report by Al Khaleej, the regulator has extended the time given to both operators to launch MNP indefinitely. Earlier this year, the TRA said the service – which allows subscribers to retain their number if they switch service provider – was expected to launch by the end of September. Mohamed Al Ghanim, the TRA’s director general, said: ‘The body tried its best to have the service up by the end of the third quarter, but Etisalat and Du are not yet ready.’ Meanwhile, without predicting when the service would be introduced, Du’s CEO Osman Sultan, said: ‘We were testing. In the testing phase certain technical issues can appear. We are just evaluating how long it will take.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, this is not the first time that the introduction of MNP has been delayed in the UAE. Originally slated for launch in the first quarter of 2011, in April the TRA said it had postponed the implementation of the service to the third quarter of the year in order to resolve technical issues and ‘to allow for several performance and functionality enhancements’ to be made to the system.