Here’s some good news for mobile users of Nepal. Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) is planning to implement Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Previously, it had asked telcos for suggestions on the matter. However, after no response from them, NTA is now moving forward with its plan.
What is Mobile Number Portability?
Mobile Number Portability or MNP is a service or facility that allows users to switch between different telecom providers without having to change their mobile number. In order words, you won’t have to give up on your existing telephone number if you wish to change network carriers. You won’t have to go through the hassle of buying a new SIM card.
This process of changing carriers by retaining the phone number is called number porting or just porting. And it can be implemented in two ways: Recipient-led and Donor-led.
The former involves users contacting the new network carrier which then forwards the request to the current carrier. It is more efficient, and thus more widely used.
Donor-led implementation requires users to contact the present carrier for a porting code which is then sent to the new carrier. The new carrier then contacts the old one to complete the porting process.
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Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage of Mobile Number Portability is the user’s convenience. If you are unsatisfied with the current service provider, you can simply switch to a new one without having to worry about losing current contacts. Moreover, if you are traveling to some new place where your carrier network coverage is poor, you can change to the best available carrier.
Mobile Number Portability will also bring healthy competition between major telecom carriers in Nepal. It will force them to improve their quality of services to retain subscribers.
In another hand, you will no longer know which telecom provider a certain number belongs to. This might create confusion about inter-operator tariffs among the general public.
Mobile Number Portability in Nepal
The news of MNP implementation in Nepal dates back to 2016. However, it was only in November of 2021 that NTA tabled a draft of Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2078. The MNP draft has a provision for users to switch to a new service provider without changing their present mobile number. NTA believes that MNP will be crucial in creating healthy competition among the telecom operators of Nepal.
Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2078
Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2078 has provision for recipient-led porting. This means users will have to contact the carrier that they wish to switch to. Operators are not allowed to take any charge from users for any porting-related SMS received from the clearing house.
That being said, users need to have used a particular number for at least 90 days to be eligible for porting. Similarly, the mobile number needs to be registered in the database of the donor carrier and the details of the owner should match the database of the service provider.
The user should not have any outstanding dues or any form of liability towards his/her current service provider. Also, the number should be in operation during the time of the request.
Porting Request Form
In the porting request form, users will have to self-declare that their number has not been used for any unauthorized purpose. Likewise, they will have to agree to the change in tariff that incurs due to switching to a new carrier. In addition, users won’t have access to services provided by their previous service provider, including the mobile balance.
A third-party clearing house will handle all the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) porting requests in Nepal. It’s not clear whether this MNP Clearing House will work under NTA or independently.
So, what do you think about MNP in Nepal? Will you switch your carrier after MNP is available? Share your thoughts in the comment section
- Meanwhile, check out our review of the Aya Neo Pro 2021.