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Mobile number portability in UAE on schedule


du cancels official UAE launch until further notice.

December 19, 2013 5:43 by

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that both du and Etisalat are ready to launch the mobile number portability service in the UAE starting from Sunday, December 22.

The regulator gave both operators a deadline to prepare their commercial offerings and sales channels to start with the actual transfer for subscribers, starting Monday, December 30, 2013 at 8am.

From this date, subscribers will be able to switch between service providers while keeping their existing number and network code.


It’s been delayed repeatedly since it was first announced in 2008, but it looks like mobile number portability (MNP) – a feature that allows customers to switch between telecom operators while keeping the same number – might be delayed in the UAE yet again.

Previously, the launch was scheduled for Sunday, December 22. However, telecom operator du has sent an email announcing that its press conference for the launch has been delayed until further notice, with no new date provided. contacted du and is currently waiting for more information.

Since du announced that is fully ready for MNP in November, it has been aggressively marketing itself to new potential customers with a variety of billboard and TV advertising campaigns – encouraging customers not be “stuck” in their old worlds or let hidden charges “depress” them – to attract new customers to its services.

Last month, the UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) gave an official warning to Etisalat for attempting to sabotage its rival’s advertising campaign.

du asked any potential customers to express interest in switching operators by sending an SMS message with the word ‘CHANGE’ to 3553 and receive instructions from du on how to migrate between operators. Etisalat blocked the number, leaving users unable to send the message, but enabled the number once it was warned by the TRA.

Earlier this week, the TRA revealed that the new service will allow nearly 15 million mobile phone users in the UAE to switch freely between operators, adding that the new service will create competition and contribute to improving GSM services.

Switching to another telecom operator, which could be completed within one day, would be free, with the exception of certain promotional offers.

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