Mobile operators ink number portability agreement

25 Feb 2013

Azerbaijan’s three mobile network operators – Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon – have signed an agreement on the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country, according to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the introduction of MNP, which enables a subscriber to retain their number if they switch service provider, has encountered a number of delays in Azerbaijan. In January 2010 communications minister Ali Abbasov said that MNP documents had been drawn up and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers, but the country’s mobile operators had not agreed to implement the service. It was not until June 2011 that the MCIT was reported to have finalised the legal framework for the implementation of MNP, with operators asked to start preparing their networks the following August. At the start of 2012 mobile operators began switching to a ten-digit numbering system in preparation for the introduction of MNP, which at that date was expected to take place by the end of the first quarter of 2012. In December that year, however, Abbasov told local media that the launch of MNP had once again been pushed back to sometime in 2013, with the system still needing to undergo testing.