Mobile phone companies that are not ready to improve their services stand to lose out when subscribers will be able to change networks while retaining their numbers, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) warned yesterday.
The regulator officially announced in Dar es Salaam that mobile number portability (MNP) will officially start on March 1. TCRA Director General James Kilaba said the new system would compel network operators to improve service in order to retain customers and attract new subscribers.
“Effective from March 1, over 40 million Tanzanians will be able to switch networks without changing their mobile numbers. This service will be offered free of charge. This means that mobile phone companies will have no option but to improve service to retain customers,” he said.
Network migration will ensure freedom and convenience for customers as they will be able to use networks of their choice without having to inform their contacts that they have migrated.
MNP also saves clients the inconvenience of carrying multiple SIM cards or handsets since they can simply shift from one operator to another as they seek to ensure maximum value for their money.
Mr Kilaba said Tanzania is the latest African country to adopt MNP after Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Morocco. “There are many other African countries that are preparing to adopt the system, including Rwanda and Namibia,” he said, adding that TCRA would soon launch a public education programme.