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Mobile number portability: Facility further delayed, fresh tender called

Mobile number portability: Facility further delayed, fresh tender called

21 days ago | By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

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  • Consortium unhappy with qualifications of applicants for former tender
  • Was told they will tender it again; focus on qualifications: Herath


The introduction of the mobile number portability facility, which was expected to come into effect last year, will be further delayed as the consortium named ‘Lanka Portability’ formed by the mobile companies in the country has been unable to finalise a suitable technical partner to implement the facility, The Sunday Morning learns.

It is learnt that a tender had been called by the consortium last year and several proposals had been received, but due to several technical issues and the lack of confidence in the companies that had submitted their proposals, the consortium had once again decided to call tenders in order to find a proper partner.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath said he had been informed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) that the consortium was not happy with the qualifications of those that had responded to the tender called by it seeking a technical partnership.

“I recently asked about the matter to get an update on number portability, but I was told that they are going to tender it again as the whole process is a technical process and they are looking for standard qualifications,” the State Minister said.

When asked about the delay, Herath assured that the facility would be introduced within this year. “The consortium is taking the necessary steps and once a technical partner is finalised, the rest of the work will be conducted soon,” he said.

When asked about the number of telecommunication companies in operation in the country, the State Minister noted that there were five companies at present, adding that while operations had been merged between several of these companies, they had not been fully merged yet.

The regulator, the TRCSL, laid the framework for implementing number portability and full portability, which includes fixed services, in Sri Lanka last year. Accordingly, the company named ‘Lanka Portability’ had been formed to include all telecommunication companies. 

TRCSL approval for mobile number portability was granted in October 2021.

Earlier, it was reported that the process would take only around two to three quarters.

The TRCSL recently announced legal clearance for telecommunication service providers to implement number portability in Sri Lanka.

There have been a number of requests from consumers during the past several years to enable flexibility of switching service providers whilst being able to retain their mobile numbers, but the service has not been implemented yet due to technical issues. 

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