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Published on December 13th, 2006 | by Babar Bhatti


Mobile Number Portability is coming to Pakistan

This is my second post on Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Pakistan. After the first post on portability a number of readers asked about the status of MNP in Pakistan. According to recent news  MNP is likely to be implemented in the first quarter of 2007.

MNP is the ability of end users to change service providers, without changing their mobile numbers. MNP is considered a major achievement for any mobile market and it is anticipated to shake things up in the already heated mobile market. Research from Japan and India indicates that about 30% of subscribers would switch providers if they could keep their numbers. MNP poses many technical and administrative challenges for the operators but provides a competitive landscape for consumers and operators. Usually MNP increases the potential of churn (loss of customers) thereby forcing service operators to work hard to retain their customers. MNP helps the best company to win.

Here’s a timeline of how MNP evolved in Pakistan. Source: PTA website.

2004: Cellular Telecom policy requires MNP implementation by Jan 2006.

January 2005: PTA asks for Request for Proposals on Mobile Number Portability

May 2005: All the six cellular mobile operators agree to form a Supervisory Board to implement Mobile Number Portability with the help of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Initial expenses on the implementation of MNP to be shared by the operators. Tore Johnsen, President of Telenor Pakistan is elected as Chairman of Supervisory Board to implement MNP.

June 2005: The Mobile Number Portability Regulations are placed for the information of all concerned and comments are requested from all stakeholders including general public

July 2006: Chairman PTA announces that MNP will be implemented in October 2006

Sep 2006: PTA sets first Quarter 2007 as the new target for MNP implementation 

March 2007: Latest date announced for MNP launch!

On December 12 The News reported that all the six operators – Mobilink, Ufone, Warid, Telenor, Paktel and Instaphone – have reaffirmed their commitment to meet the deadline of January to implement the MNP after five-time extension offered by the authorities concerned. The article mentions that “MNP requires more than $500 million investment, which is contributed by the operators at the ratio of their subscribers base share”.

If you are interested in the details of how MNP works PTA has published a good paper here. The supervisory board owns the whole process and is responsible for numbering aspects, routing using centralized databases and for making sure that the portability is completely transparent (no dialing changes) to the end users. The press articles mention a “Pakistan Mobile Number Portability Database (Guaranteed) Company Limited” which appears to be the organization responsible for portability system.

If history is any guide, there will be issues when MNP is introduced.  The administrative processes for handling portability requests can be complex and hard to track at times. I hope that the companies provide an easy-to-understand guide for their consumer to get through the portability process. I’m sure most consumers will ignore these teething pains for the larger reward of retaining their phone number and for getting quality service!

Added on Feb 27 2007:  As reported in DAWN, March 23 is the next target date for MNP launch.

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24 Responses to Mobile Number Portability is coming to Pakistan

  1. sabah says:

    please tell me when checking my call details in zong i get 92131 outgoing sms is that to a mobile contact or a zong serice please help

  2. mudassar 03434040389 says:

    hi am mudassar from lahore mobile number 03434040389

  3. zia khan says:

    hi ` salam o Alaikum all bhai agar kisi k pas u tune ke caller coad hain to pealse mujhe sand karen bhot mherbani hogi plzzzzzzz mai intezar karonga ap ke ans ka ,,,,,bye

  4. SaaGaR HaQ says:

    Salam im SaaGar Here Kese ke Pass ZONG Ke Utunes Codes hai To Plz Mujhe Send Kare My Number 03147780940

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha first no that is ported to telenor network is also a may be link no. Check telenor’s site in press section. They are very happy becuase this the very first no which is successfuly ported on a network after comercial luanch of ther service.

  6. Anonymous says:


  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Yaaaaaaaar i m chocked to see that MAY BE LINK(MOBILINK) is still showing there GHATYA PUN, huh

    well the TITIANIC will sink soon,
    JITNa Advetising per lagatay hain us k 1/4th customers ko relief dein to. CHAAAAA jayen,
    whatever they SUCKKKKKKKKKK

  9. Anonymous says:

    ok only 2 days left and here are the charges for porting by the companies and free balance for prepaid numbers,

    Telenor : 199 Rs (includes porting fee and a balance 100 Rs)

    Warid : 100 Rs (include porting fee and also a balance of 150 Rs)

    Ufone : Free (no balance)

    Paktel : Free (no balance)

    Mobilink : 250 Rs (inludes porting fee of 200 Rs and sim replacement of 50 Rs without any balance) still the ghatiya cell company of Pakistan more ghatiya than Paktel.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes its true that mobilink and ptcl stand to lose most from mnp implementation … but hang on, we are almost there!

  11. Anonymous says:

    its taking tooo much time. i guess the mobilink which is now a days shud be MAY BE LINK is creating problems caz its the only company which is in loss in this process, and PTCL is also slow to update its all exchanges.
    well i hope so whatever the problem is PTA is keen to impliment it soon.
    what do u say guys????

  12. Anonymous says:

    this gud news for every pakistani


  13. Anonymous says:

    PTCL will be using Tekelec’s number portability solution for the upcoming MNP implementation. Tekelec is a US telecommunication solutions provider specialising in number portability and signaling. ZTE is carrying out the deployment. I hope they make the March 23 date!

  14. Anonymous says:

    very helpfull info..

    i want ur favour plz..
    can u highlight some of the problems faced by PTCL that has resulted in its decreased revenue…i m working on a thesis..i.e. The need to impliment Telecom GIS in PTCl.and the problems it can solve….

    so i want to identify some of the problems faced by PTCL…and the need to impliment latest technologies like GIS for their network expansion, operation and maintanence..

    plz help me in this regard.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I feel this would be a great achievment and all the mobile companies have to be really vigilant and active to satisfy their customers.It might be a big blow to the Mobile company whose BILLING is FAULTY and the end users are not at all satisfied with it.I think in Pakistan the toll might go above 35% for peeople who would use this facility.It will definitly HEAT-UP pakistani market.


  16. Anonymous says:

    Very helpful ,Tx

  17. Anonymous says:

    Very useful information. Thanks.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Some interesting developments from Japan.

    Saying that the law of unintended consequences certainly works in strange ways, an article in THE ECONOMIST (1/20) reports that Japan’s mobile-phone industry is experiencing a bout of unprecedented competition..but not for the reasons most people expected. Noting that in Japan, mobile phone number portability .. introduced in October..has done little to get people to switch carriers and reduce their monthly bills, the article reports that instead, the fear of losing customers and revenues has sent the whole industry into a frenzy of innovation .. with fancy new handsets and services bombarding the market.

  19. Anonymous says:

    PTA has posted a new information article on MNP but no update on the actual launch.

    There are some other links on their site but most of them DO NOT work.
    * Porting Procedure
    * Eligibility Criteria for Mobile Number Portability
    * Porting Fees
    * Complaint Centers (this one can be viewed!)
    * Flow Chart diagram of Number Portability Request for Prepaid Subscibers
    * Flow Chart diagram of Number Portability Request for Postpaid Subscibers

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm thats good news


  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally – but I would not hold my breath, we may never know when the big shots bail out at the very last moment.

  22. Anonymous says:


    I wrote about MNP in Pakistan a while ago on my blog. Here is the link:

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