The launch of the MNP service had earlier been deferred due to the noncooperation of mobile operators
Mobile number portability (MNP) service will be available for mobile phone users in Bangladesh from October 1, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) acting chairman Md Jahurul Haque said on Wednesday.
“There is no possibility of missing this deadline,” he added.
The launch of the MNP service had earlier been deferred due to the noncooperation of mobile operators.
BTRC officials said all mobile phone operators, public switched telephone network (PSTN) operators, and other operators had already been connected to the platform by the assigned MNP firm – Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited (IBTCL).
IBTCL Managing Director Mabroor Hossain said they are prepared to offer the service from October 1 as per the directives of the telecom regulator.
“We are running trials of the service and are successfully overcoming all technical glitches,” he added.
According to sources, mobile operators became more compliant after a number of regulatory decisions were taken. The decisions include the reset of the porting charge to Tk50 from Tk30, and the reduction of the per port transaction charge to Tk100 from Tk150.
Grameenphone Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Mahmud Hossain, Robi Executive Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs Shahed Alam, and Banglalink Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer Taimur Rahman, each said the respective mobile operators were ready to launch the MNP service.
“Once the service is implemented, customers will no longer need to change their mobile numbers if they want to switch from one network (operator) to another,” Taimur said.
On November 30 last year, the BTRC handed the MNP license to IBTCL. IBTCL is a joint venture of Infozillion BD Limited and Teletech DOO, Slovenia. The firm was directed to provide MNP service within 180 days of receiving the license.
Regarding the delay in the release, Mabroor Hossain earlier said that they had completed hardware and software related preparations several months ago.
“MNOs, PSTNs, IGWs, ICXs, ANSs and other operators are involved in the process, which is why there are many technical complexities in the system,” he said.
According to the MNP guidelines, IBTCL had to port at least 1% of mobile phone subscribers through the service by May this year.
More than 72 countries have MNP, which increases competition between operators in terms of service quality, BRTC officials said.
Once the service is introduced, a mobile phone user can move to another operator retaining his/her number, at Tk50 plus VAT, and the process would take 72 hours at the most. If any user wants to change operators yet again, he/she has to wait 90 days before shifting.