In a recent interview with POTRAZ deputy director general Alfred Marisa, he explained that the introduction of number portability is in response to market saturation in the local mobile telecoms as well as the needs of consumers. POTRAZ issued a notice to all mobile operators two weeks ago advising them to ensure number portability is implemented in 2014.
” As the market approaches saturation level, we expect competition among Operators to intensify and our wish is to see Operators competing more on the Quality of Service, Quality of Experience front, in addition to competing on price.” said Marisa. “It is our hope that introduction of number portability will spur Operators to enhance their Quality of Service, for if they don’t, the network with the best Quality of Service/Experience might be the biggest beneficiary.” he further said.
Asked if the requirement for number portability would include CDMA operators in the country like Africom and Powertel, Marisa said this has not been determined yet and would be part of the consultations the regulator has initiated. CDMA operators in Zimbabwe charge less than half the tariffs that the GSM operators (Econet, Telecel and NetOne) charge.
On meeting the telecoms consumer needs Marisa said that many subscribers “use multiple mobile lines simply because they do not want (by changing their mobile numbers) to lose contact with friends, family members and business contacts who know their old number.” Through number portability the regulator would like to ensure that a subscriber can port on a network of his/her choice without losing his/her mobile number.