Uruguay’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining confirmed that the long-awaited launch of mobile number portability officially came into force on 12th January.
Mobile users were previously unable to retain their mobile number if they chose to switch between networks. Under the new legislation, operators must transfer numbers within three days and are obliged to cover the cost themselves, rather than charging consumers for the service. However, consumers may only transfer their number between networks three times per year.
The ministry stated that the introduction of MNP would help to safeguard consumer rights, as well as boosting competition between the country’s mobile operators Antel, Claro and Movistar. As reported by TeleGeography, the introduction process began in July 2020 with the approval of Law 19,889/2020, which stipulated that mobile users have the right to number portability.
Following this, a committee to oversee the introduction of MNP was established. Its proposals on the system’s general rules, regulatory conditions, and implementation timeframe were approved by the government in January 2021. Over the course of the year, tests were set to commence in July ahead of a commercial launch on 1st October.
In May 2020, concerns around the security and transparency of the implementation led to the launch being pushed back. In August, the Cleartech-Cietel consortium was appointed as the database administrator for the first five years following the launch of MNP.