Sci & Tech

Cellphone Networks to Launch Mobile Number Portability

Cellphone Networks to Launch Mobile Number Portability Cellphone Networks to Launch Mobile Number Portability

The Communications Regulatory Authority Committee of Iran has announced the regulations and price for using mobile number portability.

In a recent announcement, CRA said users will be charged 5,000 rials ($0.15) for using mobile number portability.

MNP enables cellphone users to retain their numbers while changing from one mobile network operator to another, the local technology website IT Iran reported.

The service has been introduced in Iran to promote competition between the Iranian mobile network operators.

Currently, three major mobile phone operators are delivering services in Iran, namely Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran or Hamrah-e-Aval, MTN Irancell and RighTel.

Sadeq Abbasi Shahkouh, a CRA deputy, had said in April that as one of the major telecoms projects underway, MNP services will be available by the end of the current Iranian year (started March 20), Mehr News Agency reported at the time.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi had also said the MNP project will be launched by June 20.

The new announcement said the new regulations will soon be officially communicated to mobile phone operators for enforcement.

Firstly, operators will have to take measures to upgrade their networks and infrastructures to implement the plan.

CRA requires the operators to convey the full details of the plan to customers and receive their official consent before activating the service.

Once orders are placed and affirmed, customers will receive the new SIM cards that must be activated in a given period of time. The previous SIM card number held by the subscriber will then be removed from the previous operator's network.

Operators have been forbidden from dissuading customers in any form from giving up the services of other operators. Also, they cannot lease the assigned numbers to other operators.

In this regard, operators cannot introduce special packages to attract more customers. Moreover, the receiving operators must not discriminate between their own subscribers and the ones that have newly transferred their numbers.  

For each number that is ported, the receiving operator is required to pay 100,000 rials ($3) to the original operator from which the number has been ported.

Operators are required to settle financial issues concerning MNP services between themselves once every three months.  

The CRA will at all times monitor the activities of operators to ensure they do not fall behind schedule while operators must report on all issues regarding MNP once every six months.

The report must include all key information such as the number of subscribers using the services and the number of requests rejected along with the reasons.