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Morocco shortens number portability deadline to spur telecom competition

Friday, 19 April 2024 11:26
Morocco shortens number portability deadline to spur telecom competition

(Ecofin Agency) - Morocco had 55.8 million mobile subscribers and 2.8 million fixed-line subscribers by December 2023, official data shows. This base is shared among telecom operators Maroc Telecom, Inwi, and Orange.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Morocco (ANRT) has cut the time limit for number portability from two days to one, effective Tuesday, April 16. This move aims to streamline the process, allowing subscribers of Maroc Telecom, Inwi, and Orange to switch between operators while keeping their original numbers.

ANRT has not detailed the technical initiatives behind speeding up the transfer process. However, in its 2023 Observatory of Number Portability in Morocco, the regulator announced the upcoming launch of the Operator Identity Record (RIO) to reduce unsuccessful transfer requests, which accounted for 22% of total requests in 2023.

In January 2020, ANRT reduced the regulatory processing time for transfer requests from three days to two. To achieve this, the regulator established the Centralized Number Portability Database (BDCPN) in coordination with the three telecom operators.

This new reduction in phone number transfer time comes amid increasing demand for such services. ANRT data shows that fixed number transfers rose from 81,692 in 2022 to 98,920 in 2023 and Mobile transfers from 1.4 million to 1.7 million. By way of comparison, fixed number transfers totaled 49,139, and mobile transfers 1 million in December 2020.

Accelerating the phone number transfer process is expected to bolster competition in the telecom market by empowering consumers. Telecom subscribers can more easily switch to the operator that best meets their expectations regarding quality, coverage, availability, and cost.



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