THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS Regulatory Authority (TÚ), the Slovak telecom market regulator, has again pointed to its previous recommendation that telecom operators do not charge clients for taking their number with them when switching phone operators. The trend across Europe leans toward not charging such fees, which are regulated only in exceptional cases.
In early March the authority presented a survey of fees in the EU as well as other countries that are charged for retaining a number when switching operators. By April 12 it received responses from 22 national electronic communications regulators.
The results of the survey show that number porting fees are regulated only in five countries, while in 17 countries they are not. Yet, in spite of this there are 11 countries which have no number porting fees. Out of the countries surveyed, only two have higher fees than Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported in mid April.
Despite this trend, one Slovak mobile operator has increased its number porting fee. The telecommunications authority will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary it will start regulating such fees.
Orange Slovensko increased its number porting fee from €6.70 to €8 in January, the Sme daily reported in early February. This was the first increase of this fee in the last four years, and is the same amount that Slovak Telekom charges for porting a number to a competitor. The third and youngest operator, Telefónica Slovakia, which provides mobile services under the O2 brand, does not charge a number porting fee.
During the first quarter of 2013 about 70,000 phone numbers changed mobile operators, the website dedicated to mobile telephony www.mobilmania.sk informed on April 8, based on Orange’s statistics. Telefónica Slovakia remained the most successful operator when fishing for new clients, whereby it gained three times more numbers than it lost. Approximately twice as many clients left Orange and Telekom than arrived.
The trend of switching mobile operators continues to benefit O2, although its intensity has decreased.
22. Apr 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff