This week a decree was announced in Algeria, promising number portability – which should be a reality two to three years after it was first included in the provisions to a new law.
Part of the reason for this move, according to a report by Agence Ecofin, is that government wants to do something more effective to take on poor-quality telecommunications services.
It seems that there have been many financial sanctions against various operators over the years, but they have had little effect on the poor quality of services in Algeria. Number portability, the Ministry of Telecoms hopes, will add to the pressure on operators by making it easier for unhappy customers to change provider.
The introduction of this provision into law should mean that, by the end of 2021, Algerians will be able to change operator without also changing their SIM card and phone number.
The draft decree relating to the introduction of mobile number portability in Algeria is now being finalised, according to the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Brahim Boumzar. A first version has gone to the regulator, the Post and Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority (ARPCE). It will then be sent to the General Secretariat of the Government.
Algerians have been waiting for the promised portability of mobile numbers for a long time. The original indication that it was to become policy appeared in the provisions (chapter 1, section 2) of a law on post and electronic communications promulgated in May 2018.