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Mobile cos linger MNP operation

BTRC rejects AMTOB's plea to extend time

March 15, 2018 00:00:00

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are in pursuit of lingering the much-awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service by seeking more time for its implementation, reports BSS.

The telecom regulator has declined to give two months more time for introduction of the service, as requested by Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB), said officials.

But a few technical issues are yet to be settled, they added.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood on Wednesday said there is no scope of delaying the MNP service.

"We are on the right track, and MNP will be introduced on time," he said, mentioning that the mobile phone users will enjoy the service in May.

Dr Mahmood, however, said they are moving ahead for launching the service by consulting with the stakeholders concerned.

Officials said the MNOs raised nearly 50 to 60 issues regarding the implementation process of MNP. But most of the issues have already been settled through consultation, and the process is going on.

A committee comprising representatives from BTRC, MNOs and the MNP operator has already sat four times to solve different technical aspects.

On November 30 last year, the telecom regulator handed over the MNP license to the selected joint venture firm Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited. The consortium is a joint venture of Infozillion BD Limited and Teletech DOO, Slovenia.

The company must provide the service within 180 days of getting the license. The license acquisition fee was Taka 100 million, and the company will have to share 15 percent of its revenues with the government from the second year onwards.

Managing Director of Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited (IBTCL) Mabroor Hossain said they have already brought all the hardware, while the software will be modified within next 2/3 weeks.

"We will be fully ready within April 15-20. But to do so full cooperation from the MNOs is required," he added.

Once the service is introduced, a mobile phone user can port to another operator retaining his/her number unchanged at a cost of Taka 30, and the process would take highest 72 hours. If any user again wants to change operator, he/she has to wait for 90 days.

The officials said in the MNP services, the MNOs will be connected with the clearing house of IBTCL. When a user will bid for deport, the operator concerned will share info with donor MNO through the clearing house.

But, the MNOs are stuck up on timing of deporting request and switch, reply, auto replay and reply cancellation time for deport, and few other issues. In addition, the MNOs have to customize their billing and IP system along with other technical aspects.

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