Papua New Guinea’s SIM registration progressing well while consultation on MNP continues

18 Jan 2017

Papua New Guinea’s SIM registration scheme is progressing well, The National reports, citing comments made by Charles Punaha, CEO of local telecoms regulator the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA). It is understood that the watchdog expects most mobile customers to have provided their information before the end of the year, ahead of the deadline of 1 January 2018. According to Mr Punaha the process was said to be ‘going alright, with nearly all the customers of bmobile having been registered’. Meanwhile, those customers signed up to CDMA-based services provided by Telikom PNG have reportedly been registered as they have been switched across from their current handsets to 4G-capable devices, with this process said to be ongoing. Rounding out the market’s mobile network operators (MNOs), Mr Punaha said that Digicel was the only cellco where the number of registered subscribers remained quite low, noting: ‘The reason is that they have gone on tender for their equipment vendor and this has taken time. But they now made a decision on which tender to roll out the service.’

In separate but related news, The National also cited Mr Punaha as confirming that several options regarding the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) are still being considered by the NICTA. Having launched an initial public consultation on the matter in October 2016, the regulator is accepting submissions until 3 February 2017, and commenting on this matter the executive said that in this ‘development stage’ it was still ‘deciding whether it is economically justified to make it mandatory to introduce number portability.’