Botswana drops MNP plans

8 Apr 2021

Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo, has announced that plans to implement mobile number portability (MNP) have been abandoned after more than six years of preparation. A report from Mmegi says the Minister has told Parliament that the initiative would not proceed as an operator network readiness assessment study had shown that it was not feasible. He said operators were being encouraged to investigate other alternatives to MNP, such as promoting over-the-top (OTT) services and other ‘disruptive technologies’.

The smallest of the country’s three cellcos, BTC Mobile, will arguably be the most disappointed at the failure to introduce portability as it hoped to increase its share of the market to at least 30% by luring subscribers away from its larger rivals Mascom and Orange. MNP allows a customer to change network provider while retaining their original number.