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Moving numbers? Big deal

Moving numbers? Big deal

If the papers are right, we should all rejoice, because we will soon be able to move mobile provider without having to change our phone number. Big deal, thinks Kipp.


January 25, 2011 3:18 by

Fireworks will be going off, people will be dancing in the streets, and a great fanfare will ring out across the country. No, it’s not on account of the Dubai Shopping Festival, it’s all about the latest news from the UAE’s telco companies.

What will prompt this mass outpouring of relief and happiness? This coordinated festivity of joy? Well, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, AKA the TRA, have announced that by the end of March, the two UAE telcos will offer number portability. That’s right, you’ll be able to switch telco provider but keep your own number. Before you go screaming round the office in happiness, try to remember your colleagues are working.

Forgive the sarcasm, it’s just that Kipp has been taken aback by the media reaction to the story. The papers have reported the news with glee, as if being able to retain your number when you switch mobile provider makes much of a difference to anyone’s life.

“It will stimulate competition between the two operators because operators will try to hold onto their customers,” Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, told reporters at a conference in Abu Dhabi. “Both operators will be in readiness by the end of this month. Then the TRA will test it.”

Well, Kipp thinks it doesn’t make a difference to anyone’s life. Believe it or not, people change phone numbers. It happens, and it’s not a big deal. Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email, it is very easy to reach someone when you don’t have a number, and it’s also very easy to let people know if you are changing your number. Yes, being able to keep your old number is good, but it’s not exactly essential. It’s not going to make or break your life or your career, unless you’re very unlucky.

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1 Comment

  1. il consumero on January 31, 2011 7:43 pm

    You’ve got the whole damn thing all wrong. It’s about consumer sovereignty, consumer freedom. MNP gives me a chance to dump my complaiscent, fat operater and move. But already Idea is putting up obstacles.


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