The Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications de Cote d’Ivoire, ARTCI) has selected local internet and business services provider VipNet to run the country’s mobile number portability (MNP) system. It fended off bids from three other firms: Silicom, Crossroad and Digital Africa Telecom. The contract is worth XOF326.6 million (USD557,000), Agence Ecofin reports, with VipNet agreeing to have a centralised portability base up and running by the end of the year. In March this year the ARTCI told local cellcos Orange, MTN and Moov to prepare their back-office systems in anticipation of its launch. The regulator is hoping that the introduction of MNP will encourage operators to improve their quality of service (QoS) in an effort to dissuade customers from switching their network provider.