The Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo says the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) among the country's three network operators has been abandoned after more than six years of preparation.
MNP allows mobile phone subscribers to change network providers without changing their numbers, thus easing the playing field in the market.
Last week, Segokgo told Parliament the initiative would not proceed as an operator network readiness assessment study had shown that it was not feasible. In his Committee of Supply presentation, the minister said operators had been encouraged to investigate other alternatives to MNP, such as promoting over-the-top services and
The latest news will come as a blow to BTC Mobile, which had expected to boost its market share up to at least 30% through MNP.
At present, Mascom dominates the local market in terms of subscribers, followed by Orange and BTC Mobile. MNP would have allowed BTC Mobile to eat away at the two bigger and older rivals, without requiring subscribers to change their numbers.