MNP plans in disarray as doubts emerge over sole bidder

3 Oct 2011

Paraguay’s Comision Tecnica de Portabilidad Numerica (CTPN) has confirmed that it plans to launch a new tender to select an administrator for the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country in coming days, local newspaper ABC reports. On 28 September CTPN declared the original tender void, after Netherlands-based Porting Access – the sole bidder in the process – failed to meet a number of technical conditions. Further, it is believed that the committee, which comprises representatives of the country’s four mobile operators – Tigo (formerly Telecel), Nucleo (Telecom Personal Paraguay), Hola Paraguay (Vox) and Claro Paraguay (formerly CTI Movil) – harboured serious misgivings about Porting Access’s reputation in markets such as Kenya and Panama, where it has run into difficulties in implementing MNP. In May 2011 Kenya’s leading mobile operator by subscribers Safaricom obtained a restraining order against Porting Access Kenya, barring the porting agent from publishing any more defamatory statements against it; earlier that month, in a national television interview, Porting Access managing director Patrick Musimba claimed that Safaricom was effectively sabotaging the MNP process by not allowing subscriber’s porting requests to go through. At that date Porting Access had received 43,545 requests, of which only around 10,000 had been successfully processed.

The CTPN had previously invited eight specialised companies to participate in the tender, and is said to be baffled at the lack of interest shown. With that in mind, CTPN has indicated that it may modify certain bidding conditions to allow more companies to participate in the process. Paraguay expects MNP to be fully implemented during early-2012.