PTA fails to meet Oct deadline for mobile portability
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has failed to meet the October deadline for implementing mobile number portability (MNP) that allows customers to switch over to any cellular phone company without getting their original numbers changed and has now set March 2007 as the new deadline. PTA sources told Daily Times that Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) and the country’s largest cellular phone operator required more time for the implementation of MNP. They said that the PTCL needed to up-grade its switches and the cellular phone operator was yet to provide a complete database of its subscribers to a consortium formed to implement MNP. The PTA had directed all cellular phone operators to upgrade their switches for the implementation of the MNP by the end of October.
PTCL Executive Vice President Ali Qadir Gillani rejected reports that PTCL was not ready to implement MNP. He said his company was prepared to implement MNP any time. He said the problem existed with some cellular phone operators who must upgrade their network and prepare a database of their subscribers. MNP was to be implemented last year, but it was delayed because the cellular companies were not prepared. The implementation was then expected in April 2006, but was again delayed till October. PTA sources said the consortium of mobile phone companies, headed by Tore Johnson, and the PTCL had informed the authority that they would be ready by March 2007 to implement MNP. Market sources said that new cellular phone operators — Warid Telecom and Telenor — were in favour of MNP to attract dissatisfied subscribers of older companies including Mobilink and Ufone. Mobilink spokesman Omar Manzoor said his company was prepared for MNP. He rejected claims of other telecom operators that Mobilink was delaying the implementation of MNP.
Source: Daily Times