NTA’s online registration of mobile phone IMEI
NTA aims to stop grey market phones
NTA, the telecom regulator of Nepal has started online registration of mobile phones. Although they had set to stop illegal phones from operating from last year, they have started this registration online now. The IMEI registration would also help to discourage the grey phone market in the country.
Although it is already illegal to sell and promote the grey phones in the market, there are still 10 percent of such grey phones in Nepal. And it is also very easily available in the market, that the shops fell without any fear. Now that the regulator has started this IMEI registration, they will make the illegal phones not operational to the mobile network in Nepal. It will take some time to stop those mobile phones working with Nepali telecom operators. NTA is using third party to handle the database system with that of telcos like Ntc, Ncell, Smart cell.
To launch or sell phone use officially, it requires to register the phone in NTA. 15 million phones have been registered till now in NTA. From last year, people can also register for their devices (brought from other countries) offline. Now, NTA is going to stop the unregistered phones to work. The mobile phones, brought using official channel (the authorized ones), can only connect to the mobile network. This will be a big encouragement to all those firms, companies who sell their mobile officially. Ultimately, this will shut down the whole grey market.
How to register your mobile phones IMEI ??
If you are a new mobile phone importer or individual, you can register your phones by going to NTA’s portal. Here are the steps to register IMEI phones online in Nepal.
- Visit NTA portal.
- Press Sign up for the login or register.
- Click either New importer or Individual application.
- Click New register to put your phones IMEI with all the details like Brand name, mobile number, IMEI/ ESN / MEID number, Name, address, identification ( Citizenship or ID card or passport).
- Upload the identification ID photo (should be less than 3 MB)
- You also need to put your contact number or email.
- Then you are done with it.
You can even track or block your already registered phones through this portal. Is not it very nice to have this sort of service?? But when does it work full fledged??
This seems only a demonstration of the system that they will introduce later. As it needs proper guidelines, NTA is also submitting this proposal to cabinet to make the IMEI registration mandatory. IMEI is one of the unique identifier of handsets that is used to identify a phone globally. It is also used by phone companies, telecom operators, government for several purposes. For the users, they need to save this number to track it if lost. You can find this IMEI number in the cover box of every phones.
Telcos to help NTA for this IMEI registration ?
Although NTA will start this process, it would not be possible if the telecom operators block those illegal phones from operating in their mobile network. So, this database that is in NTA should be synchronous with what the telecom operators have. Also they should be able to block it as per the requirement or customer complain for stolen or lost phones. As the phones are huge in number, they should do it through some automatic process instead of manual. This will happen with the EIR project that NTA is working on now. The EIR will maintain the database at NTA with the customer / Importer and also with the operators. So, it will be advantageous to register, track, query and block those phones through IMEI easily. Also Read. Registration of IMEI by EIR system and its advantages.
Advantages of IMEI registration
- Online registration makes the mobile companies or authorized ones to do it easily and without any hassle.
- Individuals can register for their phones easily.
- Individuals can also track or block their phones through IMEI, ESN or MEID, if it is lost.
- Grey market phones will go down, which encourages more official channels.
- Mobile payments will be secure with the identification database of each owner.
So, if you have a phone brought from abroad, you can register it in your own name. So, later if NTA does some sort of agreement with international regulator, then the NTA database can also blacklist those internationally blocked phones. This way, the contract phones or fake lost phones brought from other countries may not even work in Nepal that time.