Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich called for extending the period within which mobile operators are obliged to transfer mobile numbers between each other in compliance with the mobile number portability, or MNP, law scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, Itar-Tass reported Monday.
In its current form, the law gives operators up to eight days to transfer the number or provide the service free of charge until the transfer is completed.
Dvorkovich suggested extending this period from eight days to up to four months, effectively buying more time for operators to test the system.
"It is suggested on the first stage, in fact, during the transition period of testing this new service to give [operators] an opportunity to provide the service within three to four months," Dvorkovich said.
MegaFon and Tele2 successfully tested their system in September and reported their readiness for MNP, but said that more time would be needed to test the functionality of some features.
MTS and VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand, said their system would not be ready for the Dec. 1 launch because of the absence of a "normative base," a set of official documents spelling out the rights and responsibilities of service providers in relation to MNP that are to be issued by the Communications and Press Ministry.
Beeline, however, has already published their MNP conditions online and started accepting "preliminary orders for transition to Beeline." According to their website, the service will be available from Dec. 1 and customers can choose a day for the transfer to take place — no earlier than eight days and no later than 180 days after submitting the request.