Mechanisms of fixed internet portability service were updated by the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) to be implemented within 3 days, without any extra cost incurred by users. NTRA obligated fixed internet operators to carry on with the process of service-portability; including the cancellation of the service provided by any current operator, and re-running the service post subscription to any new operator. In fact, subscription cancellation should take place within 24 hours, meanwhile subscription to the services of the new operator should be accomplished within 48 hours, and therefore the whole process should not exceed 72 hours. Furthermore, the new portability mechanisms will be activated as of Thursday, September 16, 2021 and it comes in line with the role played by NTRA in protecting the user-rights and fostering service-governance. Such a step also adds to NTRA’s strategy in raising the level of users’ satisfaction alongside granting them the freedom of choice to select the best service-provider. It also aims to eliminate the reservation of landlines without informing users, the delay in service-cancellation requests as well as the inability to shift operators within a short period of time.
As mentioned, the new system aims to grant users the freedom of choice to select the most suitable operator for them. This would actually take place through facilitating the process of subscribing to and unsubscribing from service, as well as reducing the time required to provide fixed internet services. In this context, NTRA obligated fixed internet operators to cancel the service within 24 hours from receiving a cancellation request from users as well as to provide a service-cancellation number. Furthermore, NTRA obligated operators to provide the new fixed internet services contracted upon within 48 hours from receiving the request. It also stopped the reservation of fixed internet services, without a written signature provided by landline-owners. The new system would thereby be useful to all fixed internet users; however, they should pay the latest invoice issued by the churned operator and ensure no router payments are still pending (in cases of payment by instalments). Fees of disassociation from some systems and long-term packages should be also paid, if any, otherwise the operator would have no right whatsoever to reject subscription or cancellation requests.
This step comes after NTRA had investigated the complaints raised by citizens to complaint center, with regard to landline internet service, where a notable increment in the number of service-subscription and cancellation complaints; up to 56% out of the overall complaints, was observed. Service regulatory rules were therefore amended, landline internet portability system was improved and negative aspects were eliminated.
At his side, Eng. Hossam El-Gamal the Executive President of NTRA clarified that launching the new system for fixed internet services comes in line with NTRA’s endeavors to regulate the relationship between telecom service-users and operators. It also aims to set rules and mechanisms to ensure overcoming any obstacles that would hinder the users’ freedom to choose and shift operators, which would consequently contribute to reinforcing free competition among operators and therefore improve the level of service quality. He also pointed out that such new mechanisms acknowledged by NTRA are part and parcel of the integrated plan set forth to raise users’ satisfaction in Egypt’s telecom market, whereas the first step of this plan was launching the mobile number portability service for free and within 24 hours.
NTRA, being keen on protecting the telecom user-rights, especially in terms of getting high-quality services with the most affordable price, and supporting their rights to select the most suitable operator, it seamlessly works on studying the market requirements of users, investigates their complaints and works on resolving these to ensure their satisfaction. This also takes place a result of NTRA’s solid belief in the huge importance of telecom services, and the cruciality of internet for Egyptian families in all life aspects. In fact, NTRA assigned the hotline 155 (telecom complaint center) to receive, investigate and resolve the escalated complaints of users, in case such complaints were not initially resolved by operators.