Implementing Mobile Number Portability in Sri Lanka

Posted on October 12, 2007  /  3 Comments

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva and Tahani Iqbal discuss issues regarding implementing mobile number portability in Sri Lanka in a leading local English daily Daily Mirror.

Sri Lankan mobile users and service providers can be optimistic about MNP. It has resulted in better rates even in countries which had lower rates than ours before MNP. It will result in an overall improvement of the quality of services. If the operators are providing a good service for their customers, they can retain their customer base. If implemented properly, MNP can change the lives of 7 million Sri Lankans for the better.


  1. have ppl experimented this fixed-lines?

  2. Fixed-line portability which enables customers to switch between fixed-line operators while retaining their original number, has been implemented in a number of countries, including Hong Kong, New Zealand and Spain. There were plans for fixed-line portability to be introduced in South Africa at the beginning of 2007, but the failure to finalize legal and technical requirements, and the derailing efforts by one of the two fixed-line operators have delayed the implementation. Singapore is also in the process of upgrading it’s current portability system to include number portability services to fixed-line operators and others, such as VoIP and wireless broadband operators.

    Another type of fixed-line portability is geographic number portability (GNP), where users have the option of retaining their telephone numbers after a change of address. For instance, if a company were to move it’s offices from one city to another, GNP allows them to retain their number despite being located in an area with different city/local codes. This service was introduced in China in 2005.

    The concept of fixed-mobile portability which allows switching from fixed to mobile services and vice versa, while retaining the original number, is growing in demand in many countries (since mobiles are being substituted for fixed phones on an increasing basis). Canada, Iceland, and the US are the only three countries as of now that have full number portability, which is th ability to port numbers from fixed to fixed, mobile to mobile, and fixed to mobile services (vice versa).

  3. The next big change in the Sri Lankan telecom industry, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is expected to result in price cuts and other benefits to all mobile users. MNP allows a mobile subscriber to change his operator without changing the number. This easier entry into other networks allows users to choose the best service with less hassle.