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Published on March 26th, 2007 | by Babar Bhatti


Guide to MNP in Pakistan – 1

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has finally started in Pakistan during this week of March 2007. For background and history see my earlier posts on this topic.  Now the interesting battle to win and retain customers has started. In part 1 of the guide I’ll review how service providers and PTA have played their role in educating consumers and helping them through the transition. First a basic review of the process of MNP. After that a review of how service providers have conveyed MNP information on their web sites.

 1. Perform some basic checks for your number – such as: proof of ownership, no conflict due to existing agreement, number has been in service for at least 60 days etc.
2. Fill out a form and present it to the provider to which you wish to port.
3. Pay the porting fee (upto a few hundred rupees)
4. A Number Portability Request (NPR) is launched by your new provider (called Recipient Network) and you are given a SIM and a tentative time (at least 4 days – but could be up to 21 days) to when you can start to use new mobile provider network on this SIM.

I was hoping that PTA will provide a clear link to MNP guide on the MNP section of their web site but as of this writing I have not seen that (see my comments below for updates and see the PTA subscriber MNP Guideline). I am sure that very soon their will be some info posted there. But PTA really needs usability experts to imporve their site … despite all their hard work on getting MNP rolled out they did not update their site on time. In general it is not easy to get useful information from PTA site – see the cellular tariffs page for instance.

Mobilink provides a page on its site to help consumers move to its service!  As they put it: It is now very easy to become a part of Pakistan’s favourite cellular family. It is indeed ironic because as many readers of this blog have been quick to point, Mobilink stands to lose the most with MNP.

On Ufone’s site I was unable to find ANY information about MNP. What? I leave the comments to the readers.

Telenor presented a very well written guide and also provided a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Telenor has set the bar in terms of quality of information, clean design and a fast web site. Good job Telenor!

Warid’s site has also decent MNP FAQs, under customer service menu.  They could have made it more prominent. Overall Warid’s site has plenty of room for improvement.

This is the start of a new chapter in Pakistan’s telecommunication industry. I bet the call centers of mobile companies and the advertising agencies will be kept very busy in the next few weeks if not months. It will be interesting to see the competitive dynamics and the change in attention to customer service. I hope it will be worth all the investment.

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19 Responses to Guide to MNP in Pakistan – 1

  1. MALIK AAMIR says:






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  3. Pingback: Telenor & MNP « Tee Emm on Pakistan Next Gen Issues

  4. Anonymous says:

    According to a new report from Japan, just one in 50 cellular phone users switched service providers between the Oct. 24, 2006, launch of number portability in Japan and March 31, 2007, a rate far lower than expected.

    Based on industry research, Japanese phone companies had thought that about 10% of cell phone users desired to change carriers. But only 2% had actually done so as of March 31.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    great post!

    btw.. warid has starting advertising it… so that barrier is broken as well :p

  7. Anonymous says:

    what u expect from this shit company?

  8. Anonymous says:

    PTA has decided to finish the interconnectivity charges with regards to MNP.

    That is why ads are appearing for the same call rates for all networks.

    But strange is MOBILINK, for still keeping extra charges to call other networks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To Safeer Ullah Khan:

    I am thankful to you for your kind reply. However I am using ufone and i called them to ask about the same and they said that a caller will not be able to identify the network of the called person.

    I hope someone can shed more light on it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    i have read it somewhere too that caller will hear a tone when he call a ported no. let me ask from then i will confirm.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is a good move. Still I dont understand why PTA has not advertised it properly. PTA Ads were published for only a day or two with very sketchy information…for example 4 working day limit was not mentioned in the Press or TV Ads.

    Ufone was late but has come up with a very comprehensive information on MNP and does not charge for Porting in or out of Ufone.

    To Faisal:
    Well, you can ask your service provider for this, Then you will hear a beep when u call a number that is not on the same network. Thus you will know that you are calling other network number.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How will a caller know that the person whom he is calling is on the same network as the one he called on, because there will be call charging issues involved?

  13. Anonymous says:

    A very informative article Mr. Bhatti, waiting for its part II :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Shuja – thanks for the info, I’m sure readers will find this very useful.

  15. Anonymous says:

    i have talked to Telenot rep. he said i will not be disconnected from any network until my request for porting not fulfiled. during the porting period i can make and recieve calls without any problem. i will be only disconnected for a one or two hours when i am done with porting.
    i dont know why PTA have not allowed companies to give any offer for the costumers who wish to port to their network in my opinion this will help the MNP to be successful.

  16. Anonymous says:

    there are bound to be issues with the system in first few weeks… when number portability was launched in the USA back in 2004, it created havoc and almost everyone who opted for it within first few weeks faced tons of problems. In some cases they were left with no connection for weeks. The system became stable only after few weeks of its launch.

    I think the wirless companies and waiting for the system to be stable before they start advertising about it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    i havenot seen any add from any company. not even from PTA only saw once in a newspaper on 23rd March. how it will be successful if no one knows about it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Good Service,
    u cant can change your ownership whil on recepient network.

  19. Anonymous says:

    PTA has posted some guidelines on its site here.

    Excerpt:: How to Resolve Issues with Porting:
    In case the porting process is not completed in the time committed by the Donor/Recipient operator, the Subscriber may file a complaint with the Donor/Recipient operator. The Donor/Recipient operator shall provide the Subscriber with a reference number and resolve the complaint in good faith within 5-business days….In case the said complaint is not resolved within the aforementioned times as applicable at the Donor Operator end or the Recipient Operator end, the Subscriber has the right to refer the said complaint to PTA to be taken up by the competent Authority.

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