Controversy between the government and the opposition over the numbers of number portability

Official authorities of the Communication Services Regulatory Unit (Ursec) and the National Directorate of Telecommunications (Dinatel) They denied that the state telephone company Antel had lost 800 clients in the first fortnight of March due to number portability. What’s more, they manifested their inconvenience by the disinformation generated by interested actors who seek to influence the political campaign Facing the referendum on March 27 to repeal the 135 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC). From the Broad Front it was accused of being “inelegant” when information was “leaked” when the numbers were favorable to Antel at the beginning of the campaign.

According data accessed by La Diario and confirmed The Observer with a source of the Ursec, Antel lost 800 clients in the first half of March, sure lost 260 and Movistar grew by 1,000 clients. For its part, in the last fortnight of February Antel achieved 200 new clients, Claro reached 50 and Movistar lost around 250.

Since the beginning of number portability, according to La Diario, Antel has some 1,550 new clients compared to Claro’s 130, while Movistar has a negative balance of 1,700 fewer clients.

Before the publication of these data, the president of Ursec, Mercedes Aramendíasaid to The Observer what “disinformation is being generated” and that from the organism “they do not know the source on which the information was generated”.

For its part, the head of Dinatel, Guzmán Acosta y Larasaid to The Observer that the published data They are not correct and confirmed it both with Ursec and with the Database Administrator (ABD). “I categorically deny you. We don’t have a change in trends, it’s fake”, he assured.

According to Acosta and Lara, some directors of the opposition in the different entities “they have given certain data throughout the process of number portability and until now they have always been wrong”. “Evidently there is a political intention on the issue that portability is one of the elements of the referendum“, Held.

When asked about the accurate data, the head of Dinatel maintained that it is not possible to provide them since “the companies themselves made the request to keep the data confidential because we do not want the information to be altered —and less so in a political campaign—”. “We’re not going to bust that now because of a false rumor from some opposition director.”, he pointed out.

Giving the data would be “an exception to the rule that was being handled and that we talked about to try not to interfere in the electoral process”, he explained. And he added: “If you see our statements, we never gave exact figures, we did give trends but we never said what the ‘score’ was – speaking in football terms – of the companies. We did say that Antel has had a good activity”, said the director of Dinatel.

Director of the opposition in Ursec asks for transparency

The director representing the Broad Front in the Ursec Directory, Pablo Siris, wrote a thread on his Twitter account where he assured that the trend of the beginning is changing and considered it “inelegant that some authorities leak information and appear in the media when the numbers smile at them and disappear when they are not favorable to them.”

“Even though – as I have repeatedly said – it is too early to talk about gains and losses regarding number portability, they certainly seem to change the results that were observed at the beginning,” he said. In this sense, he added that the number of ports is less than 0.3% of the total number of mobile subscribers, which shows that the contained demand was much lower. There were no avalanches of requests for number portability. It is not justified not to have waited for the result of March 27, “he considered.

The FA delegate said that he has “promoted in the Ursec Directory that the information on portability numerically so that it is not used for the convenience of political and commercial operators. It is desirable that analysts and the population have all the data,” Siris claimed.

The hierarch considered that it is “inelegant that some authorities leak information and appear in the media when the numbers smile at them and disappear when they are not favorable, even when – as I said before – it is early to talk about profits and losses.”

On the other hand, Siris recalled that portability “does not refer to ownership of the number, rights and freedoms, but rather it is an economic measure that has been used in many countries to equalize the weight of operators in the mobile telephony market.”

In the middle of the campaign for the LUC

Number portability is a functionality that allows users to change phone companies without losing their number. In uruguay, It began to be applied on January 12 and is within the 135 articles of the LUC that seek to repeal – by the Broad Front, PIT-CNT and social organizations – in the referendum on March 27.

Since number portability came into effect, Antel began an aggressive and intense advertising campaignwhich included a first spot with various renowned figures (including Luis Suarez, Alvaro Recoba, Antonio Pacheco and Maria Noel Riccetto) and also a notice with Suarez and other players of the Uruguayan team.

The director of Antel for the opposition, Daniel Larrosa, reported that approximately US$ 1 million was allocated for publicity focused solely on portability.

The other two companies Movistar and Claro, also implemented specific marketing strategies, but with less exposure than the Uruguayan public company.

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