Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued draft of numbering procedures to be utilized by upcoming Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) for their services to Pakistan’s customers, we have confirmed with sources.
MVNOs in collaboration with their partners Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) or cellular operators will further plan their numbers under the guidelines of the authority.
PTA directed all interesting MVNOs to submit their numbering plans prior to commence their service operation keeping mandatory features in the subscribers numbers including Mobile country code (MCC), Mobile network code, (MNC), National destination code (NDC) along with geographic number as per ITU-T recommendations.
- 410 is the mobile country code for Pakistan
- 2-digit Mobile Network Code (MNC) = 00 to 99
- 2-digit National Destination Code (NDC) 03x where x = 0 to 9)
- MSIN (Mobile Station Identification Number) is allotted by mobile network operator
The authority will allocate numbering block of 5000 numbers against previously allocated NDC of particular mobile operator to MVNOs against each city/district/location.
MVNOs shall submit numbering utilization plan for requesting additional numbering block.
PTA directed all cellular mobile operators to reserve the pool of numbers for MVNOs and pass on this information to PTA along with fees if applicable. MVNOs will submit advance annual number charges along with application processing fee for number allocation as per “Numbering administration & allocation regulations 2005”.
Sources in the PTA said that MVNOs are likely to obtain license this year as they have been exchanging detailed and persistent inquires with the authority regarding business environment of cellular sector in Pakistan.
PTA’s officials are very hopeful to introduce MVNOs in coming couple of years as operators with financially sound standing have been in the contact with the authority.
PTA officials said the genuine MVNOs are likely to negotiate with operators once they finalize discussions on policy and regulations with PTA.
Mobile operators, on the other hand, did not receive any satisfactory response from MVNOs.
However, an MVNO, Friendi Mobile was engaged with Zong shunned its 100 million dollar deal in the same year subsequently PTA set the license fee.
So far, not a single MVNO has started its business in the country since its policy framework had been rolled out in October 2009. According to policy, the license fee was set at US$ 5 million for the period of 10-year, which was considered as astronomical high by the industry experts.
The regulatory measures for development of MVNO’s services were taken late in Pakistan.
As per cellular phone policy 2004, the MVNO policy framework should have been issued in 2006, which was made public in 2009. After more than one years of policy, there is no report that MVNO has apparently shown interest to work in Pakistan though MVNOs have been growing significantly in other countries of the world.