Uganda regulator postpones number portability

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) does not yet see mobile number portability as a requirement in the country's mobile telephone market.

The industry regulator arrived at that conclusion after a feasibility study it commissioned last year.

Mobile number portability (MNP) is a regulated facility that enables subscribers of publicly available telephone services (including mobile services) to change their service provider while keeping their telephone number.

"At this stage, number portability is not something we see as a remedy in this market," Patrick Masambu, the executive director of the UCC, said. "We carried out a study into this and we have the conclusion that there is a certain subscriber sum we need before we introduce number portability because of the costs involved."

Masambu said that MNP, according to the study, will only make sense when there are 10 million mobile subscribers in the country.

"At the time we did the study, Uganda had 3 million users but as you can see, within another one year we will have the required number of subscribers to implement MNP," Masambu said.