Vietnam’s three largest mobile operators have delayed mobile number portability (MNP) tests by six months to December, according to Viet Nam News.

The Ministry of Information and Communications set a deadline of early 2017 for MNP to be available nationwide.

At a recent conference representatives from Vinaphone, Viettel and Mobifone, which account for more than 90 per cent of the country’s connections, agreed to follow the proposed roadmap and were preparing the basic technical requirements.

Smaller operator Vietnamobile wanted to delay the testing until December 2017 because it was restructuring. Gmobile did not attend the conference.

The government has insisted that there should be no more delays in testing the service, which is essential to ensuring the rights of consumers and encouraging competition.

Viet Nam News quoted Deputy Minister Pham Hong Hai as saying: “This kind of service has been provided for years in many countries and it is time in Vietnam.”

To address concerns that subscribers could change operators frequently to take advantage of special promotions, Hai said the ministry will propose regulations, such as only allowing subscribers to change networks 90 days after they had previously switched.