Friday, October 24, 2008

MNP takes off nationally

This is extract from Mr Kashminder Singh blog on

He is the Group Managing Editor of One World Solutions, the publisher of the monthly Mobile World magazine.

This culminates a long journey that saw many starts and stops before work began in earnest about a year and a half ago. A team led by SKMM’s Adrian Abdul Ghani and MNP heads from all telcos finally got the job done.

I’ve interviewed some of them, especially TL Wong fromTalian Gerak Alih, the company running the MNP clearing house and I can say that we have an advanced and robust system in place.

The system is capable of almost instantaneous porting – though officially it can take up to 5 days. If it takes a few days, it won’t be because of the system – it will depend on how the operators respond when someone puts in a request to port.

Anyway, to mark the arrival of MNP in Malaysia, get educated by familiarising yourselves with a few myths that have crept into people’s minds.

1. There will be extra costs because the clearing house will have a surcharge on all calls from now on.

Not true. Talian Gerak Alih is only paid a fixed fee by the operators and the entire project was carried out transparently and vetted by financial experts.

2. All mobile calls you make now will go to the central clearing house which will then route it to the correct operator because only they will know which number belongs to which operator henceforth

Not true. In fact the clearing house is not in the loop at all. Calls will be routed normally. Talian Gerak Alih is only the centre point person for porting requests – it will take a port request from one operator and pass it to the other and when it gets a response, it informs the first operator. Think of it as a sort of a ‘mobile industry stock exchange’. Once a number is ported, operators will refresh their own directories in real time and calls will go normally through current networks.

3. Only mobile companies are involved in the MNP project.

Not true. MNP affected every phone company because for example, even fixed line operator TM needs to know which operator a number belongs to. In fact, TM fast forwarded its implementation of its Next Generation Network (NGN) because of MNP.

4. You are going to be charged RM25 when you move your business to another operator.

Partly true. Every port will involve a fee of RM25 that someone will have to pay. But in all likelihood, it will be the receiving service provider and not you. To pay RM25 to get a new subscriber is chicken feed. Or rather pay RM 25 to pull a customer from their competitor, it’s priceless to them actually.

Lastly, I will not make any specific comments yet on who is going to win this war. All I want to say for now is that it will be a long battle – don’t be deceived by what happens over the next few weeks.

In the final analysis, people switch for one of two reasons – perceived better value and services or better network quality.

On that second count, one telco would have had a nightmare at the launch yesterday. They had no network coverage in the hall at PWTC! Can you believe that? I’ve heard a lot of complaints about their network coverage but this one beats the cake. And they knew because at least 30 of their top executives were there and they surely would have looked at their phones to see why they had no calls coming in.

I won’t name that telco for now but I hope they look at their network quality seriously. All the fancy advertising won’t work if people get dropped calls and no coverage.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting take.. no coverage at the pwtc hall? very surprising!

    This is my take on MNP in Malaysia..check it out at