Since the launch of the Fixed Number Portability (FNP) service in March 2020, the telecom service providers; Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar ported more than 2000 fixed numbers from one service provider to another. FNP enables residential and business telecom consumers to switch to the service provider that best meets their needs, while keeping their existing fixed number(s).
Consumers who wish to change their service provider, should visit one of the retail shops of the service provider they want to switch to, or in the case of business customers, contact their account manager to complete the required documents. The service providers will then process the request to switch the number(s) from the customer’s existing network to the new network.
“The telecom service providers are providing the FNP service based on the order issued by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) to the service providers to cooperate and work together to provide this service, as the CRA is empowered to issue instructions and orders where it deems necessary to effectively regulate the telecom sector. The CRA develops regulations that ensures the development of the telecom sector and the sustainability of fair competition,” said His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of CRA.
“The FNP service contributes to increasing the competition between the service providers and liberalizing the telecom fixed market in Qatar, thus developing the telecom sector, which will benefit all parties; telecom service providers and consumers, by offering them the best innovative and reliable services at competitive prices,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “Offering fixed number portability means customers can choose the best products and services for their needs, which may well change with the ongoing situation. We are pleased to launch this service for the benefit of all telecoms users in Qatar who can enjoy our wide range of offerings, high internet speeds and awesome digital entertainment. As always, Ooredoo is committed to supporting our community and we're actively seeking ways in which we can make our customers’ everyday lives easier through the latest technologies and innovations.”
Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulla bin Jassim Al-Thani, said: “Vodafone Qatar is committed to enhancing Qatar’s fixed line infrastructure as we move the country towards becoming one of the most connected nations in the world. FNP facilitates business and residential customers switching to Vodafone Qatar to experience our state of the art fixed infrastructure and services. FNP enables healthy competition and innovation, all of which has enormous benefits for customers and businesses alike,”
Consumers can switch their fixed phone numbers after paying all outstanding bills issued for those numbers. Any final outstanding bill issued by the previous service provider after switching must be paid within 30 days of issue to avoid barring their service on their current provider. Consumers can switch as many times as they wish, but should be aware that early termination of fixed services could incur additional charges in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the service provider. The CRA advises consumers who wish to switch to another service provider to understand the terms and conditions of the service carefully before switching, where the service providers ensure minimal disruption to consumers’ services during the switching process.
If consumers faced any issue during the fixed number switching process, they can contact their telecom service provider and if the issue is not resolved, they can lodge a complaint to the CRA through different channels: CRA’s 24/7 hotline number (103), CRA’s email address firstname.lastname@example.org, CRA’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts @CRAqatar, CRA’s Mobile App “Arsel”, or by visiting the CRA’s headquarters at Al-Nasr Tower (B). The CRA then resolves the complaint based on its telecom complaint resolution process, telecom law, in addition to a set of regulations.
Under the CRA’s telecom complaint resolution process; consumers with a complaint are free to approach the CRA if their complaint lodged directly with their service provider about a fixed service disconnection remains open or unresolved for 72 hours. This also applies if the complaint is not related to a service disconnection and remains unresolved for 30 calendar days, or if the complaint is closed at any time and they were dissatisfied with the offered resolution.
It is worth to mention that in January 2013, the CRA issued a decision to the service providers to start providing Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service and since then, more than 215,000 mobile numbers were ported and around 34,000 mobile numbers were returned under the MNP service.