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Bulgaria's M-Tel, Vivacom: Number Portability Is Hassle-Free.

Two of Bulgaria's mobile phone operators - M-Tel and Vivacom a have vehemently denied accusations of obstructing the proper implementation of number portability services, claiming just the opposite.

"The number of documents by clients who switch to another operator, but keep their number has increased two times since the introduction of the one-stop-shop number portability procedure two months ago," the two operators said in a statement.

It points out that more than half of the numbers have been transferred within two days, a sign that the companies are not boycotting the number portability service.

The statement comes in response to calls by the regulatory body that the three mobile operators in the country draw up an action plan on how to fix any problems with the number portability procedure by December 1, 2010.

The one-stop-shop number portability procedure was formally introduced in order to help customers who want to change their operator but keep their number. The previously existing procedure had been considered too cumbersome, and allowing the mobile companies to prevent their unsatisfied clients from leaving them.

The major novelty in the procedure is the fact that the client is now required to apply for number portability only with the receiving operator, which is supposed to take care of the entire transaction, while earlier the consumer was supposed to deal with both companies.

Bulgaria had to implement the number portability service as soon as it joined the EU on January 1, 2007 but just ten days later the biggest mobile operator Mtel refused to join the agreement already signed by the other two wireless carriers.

The saga went on for the entire year, with the telecoms regulator intervening in August to speed up proceedings, but to no avail, giving the European Commission reason to start infringement procedures against Bulgaria.
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Geographic Code:4EXBU
Date:Dec 3, 2010
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