Mobile telephone operators have a generally positive attitude to the parliament’s decision to grant subscribers to mobile telephone services the right to keep their personal telephone numbers when switching from one mobile telephone operator to another (MNP – mobile number portability),
“Kyivstar considers introduction of the service allowing subscribers to keep their telephone numbers as a generally promising direction in the development of the sector and competition,” said Serhii Tovstenko-Zabelin, a leading public relations specialist with the Kyivstar mobile telephone operator.
At the same time, according to Kyivstar, the issue of developing a mechanism for introducing and administering the service remains open.
Kyivstar also stressed that introduction of this service would require mobile telephone operators to make significant expenditures related to routing, organization, and database support.
The Astelit cellular mobile telephone company, which provides mobile telephone services under the life:) brand name, also welcomed the parliament’s decision to allow subscribers to keep their personal telephone numbers when switching from one mobile telephone operator to another.
“Portability is a long-awaited service for Ukrainian users of mobile communications. Its implementation is fully in the interest of the consumer, it gives the consumer full freedom of choice, and it will have a positive effect on the competitive environment,” said Nadia Lubnina, the head of the department of external relations at Astelit.
According to Lubnina, international experience has demonstrated that the service is most popular at the moment of its introduction, but only an average of about 5-7% use the service.
The MTS Ukraine mobile communications operator considers the adoption of the relevant amendment to the relevant law serves the interests of consumers and the market.
However, MTS Ukraine stressed that the issue of the date of introduction of the service remains open.
“It is a sufficiently complicated and long process that — as foreign experience has demonstrated — takes at least one year from the moment of adoption of a decision or even longer,” said Oleh Prozhyvalskyi, the director of corporate management and control at MTS.
MTS also believes that subscribers are already able to switch from one mobile telephone operator to another and that the decisive factor for them is the attractiveness of the service offered to specific subscribers and prices and not the opportunity to keep a telephone number.
Therefore, the company is forecasting that the number of subscribers wishing to use the service will be insignificant.
The parliament voted to amend the Law on Telecommunications on July 1 to grant subscribers to mobile telephone services the right to keep their personal telephone numbers when switching from one mobile telephone operator to another.