RURA Should Explain Why There Is No “Mobile Number Portability” Yet in Rwanda—As Promised

According to Wikipedia, “mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

Look at this: imagine the bliss of retaining your good ol’ 078-formatted phone number instead of being required to register a different one when shifting to Tigo or Airtel (don’t forget that more telecoms might storm the local market in the future).

You were probably attracted by the fact that your current telecom covers all the major cities with 3G and LTE, but I think that you would never forget — unless you’re among those who don’t have a problem with carrying a multitude of phones — the ordeal you underwent informing your contacts about the new number.

After stumbling upon the above tweet, I remembered what I wrote about MNP years ago: I was told by RURA’s Jean-Baptiste Mutabazi that “Rwanda will introduce mobile number portability once the country reaches 60% mobile penetration”.

At that time, penetration rate was around 47%, but according to the latest stats (PDF), active mobile phone subscription (as of October 2015) in Rwanda is currently at 76.2% — more than 10% above the target.

So RURA, what will it take us to finally enjoy mobile number portability? If I were you, I would also think of how to explain to the citizens why they don’t have it yet.

This article was first published on the author's Medium blog.

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