Want to change your mobile service provider but still prefer using the old number? That would be a reality very soon with the implementation of the World Bank-aided Mobile Number Portability (MNP) programme.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC), has received a grant of US$ 472,000 from the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) under the World Bank to develop its knowledge base and implementation capacity, enabling it to design and implement this programme, a senior official of the TRC told the Business Times.
MNP enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.
Number portability has the potential to substantially enhance the benefits of competition to consumers, he said, adding that the new system will be introduced in six months.
The World Bank grant will also be used to engage a consulting firm to assist it in the establishment of the necessary regulatory framework for implementing.
However private mobile service providers are of the view that they would have to upgrade their infrastructure to enable appropriate re-routing of calls to subscribers who have ported (exited) from their network.
The manner of handling such routing and data management is critical as any inefficiency here will directly lead to inefficiency in transmission and switching capacity, and could in some cases also lead to lost calls.
The industry requires the maintenance and updating of a repository of ported number database — either at an individual network or at a central level. This involves additional costs for operators initially, and on an ongoing basis, Dialog telecom sources said.
The Sri Lankan government decided in August 2007 to introduce number portability for cellular phones in Sri Lanka.