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Cameroon to roll out mobile number portability in September

Cameroon to roll out mobile number portability in September

Mobile number portability will be officially launched in Cameroon at the beginning of September, according to the country's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

The new feature will allow telecoms subscribers to migrate from one operator to another without having to change their telephone numbers.

The launch was originally scheduled for November 2016 but was postponed to 4 April 2017. This was to reduce difficulties for subscribers porting from one network to another, said the Ministry.

The number of mobile subscribers in the country has increased to approximately 17 million, with the country officially ranked at 61 globally, according to information available from CIA World Factbook.

Ninety percent of smartphone owners have used the internet, according to a GSMA Consumer Survey of 2016.

With the launch of mobile number portability, Cameroon's industry regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART) said subscribers would be able to choose which operator is the best for them without losing their mobile numbers

ART awarded multinational ICT and telecommunications firm Huawei the contract to build the centralised number porting database in 2015.

Initially, Huawei was expected to execute the contract within seven months, according to the Executive Director of ART. However, the rollout of mobile number portability had to be held back until the database was completed and various operators integrated.

In January this year, operators including MTN, Orange and Nexttel together helped form an economic interest group (GIE-PMC) to manage the database.

ART has confirmed that these had all been completed and the rollout is set to go ahead.

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