In a bid to deepen competition and force mobile phone operators to provide better service to their customers, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has been mulling for the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) for also most 4 years now. POTRAZ is inviting tenders for the provision of mobile number portability implementation consultancy services a tender in the Sunday Mail.
MNP is a service that allows a cellphone or smartphone customer to change mobile network operator (MNO) and keep the same phone number. So, if you switch between service providers, you do not have to go through the trouble of informing all your friends, family, colleagues and other contacts because your number stays the same.
If you are unhappy with your MNO’s tariffs, call drops or signal strength, but have tolerated it all just because you want to retain your number, you don’t have to wait much longer now. The introduction will see you change your network with no problem.
MNP has so far been implemented in more than 90 countries worldwide. POTRAZ and MNOs in growth markets face favourable market conditions for the introduction of MNP, and could learn from recent MNP launches in other countries. Several African countries have recently introduced MNP, like such as South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The lack of number portability between wireless carriers has kept many consumers in Zimbabwe from changing cell phone numbers. Now that the infrastructure will be setup in place, MNP will be available to all wireless customers by the end of 2017.
The service is provided by all GSM mobile operators in Zimbabwe – Econet, Netone and Telecel “free of charge.” This, however, does not apply to Fixed Number Portability, FNP, or any other form of number or service portability.
MNP will make it easier to acquire customers from competitors and make it more difficult to keep subscribers.