MNP to launch next month?

5 Jul 2013

Azerbaijan’s three mobile network operators – Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon – have received instruction from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to introduce mobile number portability (MNP) on 1 August, according a report by Trend. Subscribers will be able to port their number once in a three-month period, with the process to be free of charge for consumers. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes 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 cellcos 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.