The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Thursday asked mobile phone operators to introduce by January, 2014 mobile number portability service which will allow users to change operators without changing numbers. BTRC officials said after the introduction of the MNP, the number signature, for example 0155 serial for state-run Teletalk, of the mobile companies will not be valid.
The BTRC directive said all cellular mobile phone operators will have to complete the necessary preparation within seven months.
It said the mobile phone operators will have to form a consortium within three months from the issuance of the directive which will be headed by a commissioner of BTRC.
After formation of the consortium the mobile operators will get three months to establish the MNP system and additional one month for the test run of the system, said the directive.
A subscriber will be able to get the service with a charge of not more than Tk 50 and will be able to avail the service through SMS, web application or retail service outlets.
The BTRC will issue a new form for subscribers to apply for the MNP service and a subscriber will have to apply to new operators where he/she wants to switch with proves of the ownership of the number.
Mobile operators will have to complete the transfer of number within three days and once a subscriber switches the operator he/she will not be allowed to change again within 45 days, it said.
The SIM provided by the recipient operators will not be counted as new SIM card, it said.
The guideline also said the originating mobile operator, in coordination with the ICX operators, will be responsible to route the SMS/MMS and voice calls to new terminal network.
BTRC officials said although the commission favoured third-party arrangement for MNP service, the post and telecommunication ministry asked BTRC to follow consortium method.
They said the MNP was not successfully implemented in the countries which used consortium model for such service operation as the leading mobile companies often dominate the consortium.
They said the large subscriber-based mobile companies often lose some of their users after the MNP implementation.
Grameenphone chief executive officer Vivek Sood recently said that GP was not favourable with the move of introducing the MNP at this moment.
‘As the largest company we might face a setback but we will follow the regulators directive in this regard,’ he said in reply to a question while presenting the Q1 financial report to the media recently.
BTRC officials said that the MNP might favour the operators with relatively lower subscriber base.
-With New Age input