MNP ready to serve cell phone users from August

Publish: 3:13 PM, July 6, 2018 | Update: 3:13:PM, July 6, 2018

DHAKA  – The much awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service is almost ready to serve the country’s mobile phone customers from the next month (August).

The assigned firm, Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited (IBTCL), has connected the mobile network operators (MNOs), public switched telephone network (PSTN) operators and other operators with the MNP platform.

Talking to BSS today, IBTCL Managing Director Mabroor Hossain said the telecom regulator directed them to get ready by July 31 to offer the service in August.

“We will be fully prepared by July 20 to offer the much awaited service to the mobile phone customers,” he said.

Replying to a query, Mabroor said Robi and Banglalink have been fully connected with the MNP platform while work is going on for market leader Grameenphone. Connecting the state-own Teletalk is yet to start.

He, however, expressed optimism to connect Teletalk within July 20 as the telecom regulator has directed the operator to get connected with the MNP platform within the stipulated time.

“We will get a comprehensive result within 15 days as we will go for customer centric trial next week,” said the IBTCL managing director.

On November 30 last year, the telecom regulator handed over the MNP license to the selected joint venture firm Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited (IBTCL).

The company, IBTCL, a joint venture of Infozillion BD Limited and Teletech DOO, Slovenia, was directed to provide the service within 180 days of getting the license.

About the delay, Mabroor Hossain said they have completed their preparations related to the hardware and software two months ago.

Reluctant to blame anyone for the delay, he said, “MNOs, PSTNs, IGWs, ICXs, ANSs and other operators are involved with the process that is why huge technical complexities are involved with the system.”

According to the MNP guidelines, IBTCL had to port at least one per cent of the mobile phone subscribers through the service by May this year (2018).

More than 72 countries have MNP, which increases competition among operators in terms of service quality, said officials.

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

In the MNP services, officials said, the MNOs will be connected with the clearing house of IBTCL. When a user will bid for deport, the concerned operator 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 a few other issues.

In addition, the MNOs have to customize their billing and IP system along with other technical aspects.