Give us more time to launch MNP, plead operators

8 Jul 2009

Thailand’s private mobile operators have warned that it will be impossible to implement mobile number portability (MNP) in the three-month period proposed by the regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), according to a report in local newspaper The Nation. Draft MNP regulations, expected to take effect as early as the end of this month, stipulate that cellular operators must complete necessary network upgrades and jointly create a clearinghouse to facilitate MNP and settle porting fees between networks within three months from the regulations being put in place. Tore Johnsen, CEO of Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC), said it was impossible to upgrade network and customer support systems, establish a clearinghouse, test all systems and carry out staff training in the given timeframe. Wichian Mektrakarn, president of Advanced Info Service (AIS), said that at least ten months was needed to buy the relevant equipment and upgrade the network software, and added that it would be preferable for the NTC to use a previous MNP regulatory draft, which gave cellular operators a year to complete the implementation. AIS is expected to spend USD10 million on the equipment and software upgrade, with additional investment going towards the central clearinghouse.