Mobile Number Portability by Jan’07 sans PTCL
ISLAMABAD – With Pakistan Telecom Company Limited lagging behind in technology upgrading for Mobile Number Portability, the cell-phone operators as well as Pakistan Telecom Authority decided to introduce MNP by calendar year end without PTCL.
The pro-consumer facility of number portability across the operators would be available to the cell-phone subscribers within the first couple of weeks of January 2007 by all means without inclusion of PTCL into the club, well-placed sources told TheNation on Thursday.
Although the PTCL would be included into the MNP stakeholders bracket upon completion of the its project to upgrade its switches to the MNP compatibility, the cell-operators would ensure caller connectivity to the desired end by the time, they added.
The cell phone companies would make temporary arrangements at their network controls to forward the call from PTCL’s fixed line to the cell subscriber switched over to another service through MNP and vise versa.
Initially, the PTCL was required to upgrade its switches parallel to the six cell phone companies so that the fixed line network could locate the current service of a particular cell-subscriber in the scenario of post-MNP introduction. According to the sources, the PTA has taken strict notice of the reported claims by the PTCL that it was not obliged under the regulations to upgrade switches along the cell-phone operators for the MNP.
The sources said that the outgoing monopoly has also quoted regulations, in isolation, in its favour in the reported explanation by the PTCL.
Noting the attitude as well as pace on part of the PTCL in playing its due role for MNP implementation being contrary to the required, the PTA has decided the pro-consumer facility’s implementation well before the latest deadline of January 12, 2006 without PTCL. “When the PTCL would finally upgrade its network by end March as it states or afterward, it would be formally included into the MNP network and the cell companies would be relieved of forwarding calls on behalf of the fixed line operator,” the sources said.
However, the fixed line market leader’s inability to keep pace with the latest technological developments such as MNP would question its stature and market credibility, they added. Wireless Local Loop operators who are also not being able to keep up with the MNP implementation are also likely to be offered the similar mode of lateral entry to the MNP network as would do the PTCL, the sources said.
Source: The Nation