Prepaid has diminished the appeal of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). A recent study of GSMA suggests that merely 25% of developing markets have introduced MNP, while only a further 15% are known to be implementing it in the future. It means about 60% of regulators in the developing world have either decided against introducing MNP, or have made no progress to date.
Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (SLTRC) has found no value in MNP. The director-general of SLTRC, Anusha Palpita, told local media:
‘The main beneficiary of [MNP] and those demanding it [would be] post-paid mobile subscribers. However, in Sri Lanka’s case, we have less than 10% of the total mobile subscriber population owning a post-paid mobile connection. Therefore, in my opinion implementation of MNP will not be cost-effective at the moment.’ The director argued that it would be unfair on the roughly 20 million pre-paid users amongst the approximately 21.5 million total customers to bear the cost of MNP implementation, adding: ‘The full implementation could cost the telecom operators to the tune of USD2 million to USD3 million which may then have to be passed to the consumer.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), however, have been pushing MNP for a long time. The matter is yet to be settled.