The country’s mobile phone operators have demanded five years of time for implementing mobile number portability service, which will allow users to change operator without changing the number, despite telecom regulator’s order to introduce the service by January 2014.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials said a committee comprising of mobile phone operators, IGW, ICX and PSTN operators in a recent interim progress report said the cost of implementing the MNP service would be $150 million.
‘The global trend of deployment of MNP system is on average four years. However, it may take longer in Bangladesh because of complicated network architecture,’ said the committee report.
The proposal said that for the groundwork of MNP the operators would need two years and in the implementation phase they would need another three years.
The BTRC officials said the commission in last week decided to go for a public hearing on the MNP service after reviewing the operators’ proposal.
The committee, however, in a recent letter to the BTRC said that it was an interim report and it (the committee) would submit a comprehensive report by October 15.
‘We have invited some vendors who implemented MNP in the neighbouring countries. After knowledge sharing session with them we will submit a revised proposal with implementation timeline, some practical example and suggestions,’ said the letter.
‘We don’t see any reason why it will take five years of time to implement the MNP service which is already implemented by the neighbouring countries. As the matter is pending for long, the commission has decided to go for a public hearing on the matter,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age on Tuesday.
As a guideline has already been given by the BTRC, there should be no complexity, he said.
The BTRC in July had formed a committee, headed by Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Bangladesh secretary general TIM Nurul Kabir, which was scheduled to submit a proposal by July 31.
Earlier in June 2013 the telecom regulator had asked the mobile phone operators to introduce the MNP service by January 2014, but the operators expressed their inability saying it would be a short time for implementing such a service.
The BTRC directive had said all cellular mobile phone operators would have to complete the necessary preparation within seven months.
It had said the mobile phone operators would have to form a consortium headed by a BTRC commissioner within three months from the issuance of 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.
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 officials said.
-With New Age input