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Kenya shows poor number portability uptake

March 21, 2012 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Recent statistics published by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows that the vast majority of Kenyans have not taken advantage of number portability.

Communications Commission of Kenya. (image: in2eastafrica.net)

Number portability allows users change mobile service providers without losing their numbers.

According to the CCK in a recent report publicized on Tuesday, only around 54 000 subscribers used the number portability scheme last year.

The numbers showed a steep decline throughout the year to December in which only 747 subscribers switched networks, despite hope that it would see more takers after being nearly six years in the making.

“Unfortunately, MNP has not been as hugely successful as was anticipated. It’s a good option for subscribers to have, but we have not seen great uptake as per the high expectations,” Madhur Taneja, Essar Telecom Kenya manager, said.

TeleGeography reported last month that Taneja demanded that the telecom leader in Kenya, Safaricom, be forced to open up its mobile money service, M-PESA, to other networks, arguing that users were unwilling to switch providers because Safaricom offered the mobile banking option. He also said that other telecom operators were willing to pay fees to Safaricom in order to have the service.

Joseph Mayton

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