Doha: Qatar’s two telecom service providers yesterday announced that they have started Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the country.
This will allow customers to retain their mobile phone numbers when switching to a different service provider. Following the MNP announcement by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar), the country’s telecom sector regulator, Qtel and Vodafone-Qatar said that they are welcoming new consumers to their networks.
All 21 Qtel retail outlets in the country are now supporting MNP, while Vodafone is providing it at its outlets at City Center and Landmark malls.
Qtel retail outlets at City Center and Landmark malls were the first two to offer MNP and both shops saw long queues of subscribers wanting to retain their number and switch to Qtel, the company said in a statement.
“We have seen an immediate response to the availability of Mobile Number Portability in Qatar, with many customers opting to switch to Qtel on multiple lines since the launch,” said Fatima Sultan Al Kuwari, Director of Public Relations, Qtel.
ictQatar earlier said that MNP officially began here on January 31. Both Qtel and Vodafone worked with the telecom sector regulator to develop the new plan.
“At Vodafone, we understand that mobile numbers are very important for the people living here, and for that we have been working for many months with ictQATAR and Qtel to make MNP available.
Mobile Number Portability will enable more customers to experience the choice and diversity of telecommunication services that are available in Qatar,” said Mohammed Al Yami, Director of External Affairs at Vodafone Qatar.
To start the process, customers will have to complete applications at either Qtel or Vodafone retail shops, and then send an SMS with the words “SWITCH” or “???” to 151, which would cost 1 dirham. They would have to bring the ID they used for service on their existing service provider when visiting the shop. Postpaid customers will need to settle any issued bills with their current service provider.
Once the request is approved by the current service provider, the switchover process should take one business day.