Survey Says 54% of Mobile Subscribers to Change Operator

More than half of Russian cell phone subscribers will change their mobile phone operator after the law on mobile number portability takes effect, according to a survey by research group ROMIR.

From Dec. 1, 2013, the law will allow users to preserve their own mobile phone number when switching operators, which in the past have always required users to get a new number.

According to the survey, published Wednesday, Russian subscribers have shown great loyalty to major operators. For example, 55 percent of them have used the services of their operator for five to 10 years, and 20 percent for 10 years or more. This is likely to change with the new law.

The results of the survey showed that 54 percent of Russians will take advantage of the new law. As many as 7 percent of the respondents stated that they intend to change their primary operator, and 5 percent will change their secondary operator. Thirty-one percent of the respondents said they would consider changing their primary operator and 15 percent would change their auxiliary one.

Research showed that 46 percent of MTS' subscribers intend to change their operator, while the figure for VimpelCom is 51 percent. Forty-six percent of MegaFon subscribers and 41 percent of Tele2 clients also plan to switch operators.

The law on mobile number portability was proposed in April last year by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, who said the service should be provided free of charge to customers.

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