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Bulgaria's Vivatel launches wireless number portability April 14

Date: 28.03.2008

Bulgaria's third mobile operator Vivatel is to launch wireless number portability service on April 14 by offering three new tariff plans, announced Thursday Bernard Moscheni, CEO of the dominant fixed-line operator BTC.

The silver, golden and platinum offers aim at attracting more clients by proving them free calls after they pay their monthly subscription fee.

"A total of 20 % of the incomes of Vivatel and BTC, amounting to EUR 110 M will be reinvested in the net and allocated to services improvement activities," Moscheni explained.

The wireless number portability came after Bulgaria's three mobile operators signed a framework agreement to make the service available between networks a month ago.

"Mobiltel, Globul and Vivatel made a number of concessions in the process of negotiations with the only goal to start the service on time and in the interest of the clients," the telecoms watchdog said in its statement.

Bulgaria had to implement the service as soon as it joined the EU on January 1, 2007 but just ten days later Mobiltel, the country's dominant wireless carrier refused to join the agreement already signed by its two competitors GloBul and Vivatel.

The saga went on for the entire year, with the telecoms regulator intervening in August to speed up proceedings, but to no avail, giving the European Commission reason to start infringement procedures against Bulgaria over its telecoms regulator lacking independence and effectiveness in November last year.

The switch will be done during the night for the convenience of the clients and will take no more than seven hours, during which clients will not be able to use their phones.

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