The mobile phone has become one crucial part of modern life. With the advancement of mobile phones, contacting anyone anywhere has become quite easier. Everyone has a SIM card and a designated mobile number.
Yet one blockade in modern communication could be an issue with mobile networks. Relatable? Isn’t it?
But thanks to mobile number portability. Now you can switch to another carrier network with the same number for a better connection. Being able to convert carriers without losing one’s mobile number is very handy.
However, what is the effect of this on the market?
There would be some major changes, some expected whereas some which might go unseen.
WHAT IS MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY?
Mobile number portability allows users to change the carrier keeping the same number. This reduces switching costs.
Generally, when someone changes their number, reaching everyone with the new number takes a longer time. Everyone has to get informed and update their contact list for the new number. However, with the MNP people can use their same mobile number for different networks.
In simple words, people can switch to Ncell with an NTC number. It might sound confusing, yet it is much more convenient.
MARKET IMPACT OF MNP
The start of mobile number portability can bring major changes to the telecom market.
It will bring high competition between different telecom companies to retain their customers. And it can cause a drop in the prices of tariff plans. MNP intensified competition leading to an increase in consumer surplus. It will cause healthy and unrestricted competition.
Mobile number portability will not have a major effect on operators who have a strong customer base. They can always retain their customers by providing competitive tariffs. However, it will create opportunities for newer players. By providing value-added services & lower rates, it will be easy to enter and survive in the market.
Let’s look back at the mobile number portability in India.
When launched in India, there were a very high number of people willing to port their numbers. There were 918 million wireless subscribers in India. Out of this, about 12.72 million subscribers have submitted their requests to different service providers for porting their mobile numbers. Now, this is a huge change.
Yet it could be a new revolution for the telecom sector.
Impacts on consumers
Subscribers are the ones who can enjoy the benefits of number portability.
MNA will force the service providers to focus on the quality else the customer will switch. Hence the users will have the flexibility to change the service providers if they are unhappy with the tariff, service, etc.
In a way, network operators are at the mercy of their users. Once they notice any form of discomfort with the services they provide, the users no longer have to think twice. There can always be a better option of switching to another network.
Moreover, if you are in a new place where your carrier network is poor, you can easily change to the best available. On the part of the subscribers, this is a very great advantage.
Mobile Number Portability In Nepal
MNP in Nepal was in talks for a long time but now it seems it is happening anytime soon now. Nepal Telecom Authority had approved Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Nepal in 2016.
All 3 major mobile networks, NTC, Ncell, and SmartCell are offering the MNP option to their users.
While both NTC and Ncell already have a strong customer base. It will be interesting to see how the 3rd telecom SmartCell will show their A-game.
Also, there is a talk of CG Telecom launching with a much cheaper tariff plan. So it will be interesting to see how the existing players like NTC and Ncell will react.