NTA & Mobile Number Portability: Everything we know till now

Mobile Number Portability In Nepal

Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has been planning to implement Mobile Number Portability (MNP) soon. They asked telcos for their advice on the matter but after getting no response back from them, NTA has started on their own. The MNP implementation in Nepal started to be a rumor in 2016. However, it stayed as a rumor, and the draft we saw as Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2078 wasn’t until 2021. The draft gives a provision for users to change network operators without changing their mobile number.

What is Mobile Number Portability?

Mobile Number Portability is a service allowing us users to switch between various network operators without changing our mobile number. This indicates that you won’t have to go through the trouble of buying a new SIM card when you change your telecom operator. This process calls out porting or for easy understanding; number porting. It comes in two ways: Recipient-led and Donor-led. In the first one, the user contacts the new network operator he wishes to switch. And then the request forwards to the current network operator. Likewise, the second one uses the porting code from a present operator and transfers it to the new. Then the two operators contact each other to complete the process.

The draft of Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2078 has a recipient-led porting provision which means that they must contact the new operator they wish to switch to. Also, the operators can not collect any charge for any porting-related SMS received from the clearinghouse.

Merits

  • Works for user’s convenience
  • If you are unsatisfied with your current network operator, you can easily make the switch to another one
  • You don’t have to worry about other people losing your contact information after you change the network carrier every time.
  • It brings competition among the network operators which might help in increasing the quality of their respective services.

Demerits

  • You’ll no longer have the information about whether the number belongs to a certain network provider. This can create confusion about inter-operator tariffs among the people.

Who is eligible for the Mobile Number Portability?

Now, if you are interested in the service, you should have your mobile number for at least 90 days before proceeding. The number should also be registered in the donor carrier’s database whose details shouldn’t differ from the database of the service provider. Further, the user can not have any dues or liability towards the current service provider he is in. Finally, the number should be fully operational when you start the proceeding.

Porting Request Form

Users must fill out a porting request form. Here, the user has to self-declare if their number has ever been a piece of contact information that was used for any unauthorized purpose. They will even have to agree to the change in tariff that might occur due to the switching between two network operators. Likewise, you won’t be receiving the services from the previous network provider which includes the balance amount you had when you were under that network carrier.

In Nepal, all the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will get handled by a third-party clearinghouse. However, we still don’t know if that clearinghouse will be working under NTA or independently.

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