Uruguay launches mobile number portability

14 Jan 2022

Uruguay’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining has announced that the launch of mobile number portability (MNP) officially took place on 12 January, enabling the country’s cellular customers to retain their number if they switch provider. Mobile operators will bear the cost of the number transfer process, which should take no more than three business days to complete. Users will be able to port their number between companies a maximum of three times per year. The Ministry said the launch of MNP will encourage competition between mobile operators Antel, Movistar and Claro, and will promote the rights of consumers.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Law 19,889/2020, which was approved in July 2020, declared that number portability is a right of users of mobile telephony services, and two months later a committee comprising representatives from industry regulators and mobile operators was established to prepare for the introduction of MNP. Following on from this, the government approved the regulatory conditions, general rules and timetable for the long-delayed introduction of MNP in January 2021, under which tests of the system were expected to begin in July ahead of a commercial launch of MNP on 1 October. However, the timetable was subsequently delayed in May in order to ensure the security and transparency of the process. In August the Cleartech – Cietel consortium was selected as the database administrator for the period 2021-2026 and mobile operators subsequently signed contracts with the company three months later.