To manage and regulate mobile phone devices in the country, NTA has already procured and started installing a centralized EIR system. They had also started registering for genuine mobile phones with their IMEI and other unique identifications.
But, this new system will help to block the illegal/unregistered/grey market phones in Nepal. NTA names the project as MDMS (Mobile device management system).
The MDMS project will be the realization of the Centralized EIR system, procured with NTA’s own investment of NRs 1 billion estimates.
They floated the tender for the project for the Design, Develop, Supply, Installation, Testing, Commissioning, and Operation of Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) in Nepal. Some parts of the fund will also use for International consulting services from eligible firms.
With the evaluation of the proposal from the Interested firms, NTA already selected Numera JV (JV of M/s Numera (M) Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, OSI Consulting Pvt. Ltd., India, and Namaste Global Communication Pte. Ltd., Singapore) for which the works were underway with the delivery of required hardware. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration for the implementation of the project for a full-fledged MDMS system is unknown until recently. The government with its latest budget speech has now announced to implement MDMS from Shrawan 1, 2078.
NTA MDMS bylaw
NTA had also formulated and passed a bylaw for the mobile device management system (MDMS) system. The bylaw was put in effect to ensure national, consumer security, identify the genuine handsets, and make the unofficial and fake ones inoperable in Nepal.
They have also made a provision to let people complain of the lost or stolen handset incident to NTA for the possible track and block the device.
NTA also wanted to bind all of the telecom operators in Nepal for the smooth functioning of the EIR system. For this, the operators also needed to make their system compatible with this MDMS system. Other stakeholders for this device management are mobile phone importers, Customs duty office, and subscriber themselves who also need to be aware of it.
The major objectives of the MDMS project are:
- identify all active mobile devices on mobile networks.
- trace illegal devices including non-registered mobile devices;
- to enable the tracking/blocking of a mobile handset that is lost/stolen;
- to encourage import through the customs office and sale of genuine mobile handsets and minimize the possible grey market.
With the new system in place, NTA will block the illegal, or grey, or unregistered handsets. These handsets then will not work with any telecom operators in Nepal. They will have a white, grey, and blacklist of all the mobile phones in the system. White list includes normal or legal phones whereas Grey includes restricted unofficial handsets.
The blacklist includes illegal and lost/stolen phones that won’t work in the country. They will change the status of some phone identity (IMEI) to black if they don’t find it registered. Also, Read how to register your phone online.
The new project will handle all works for mobile phone identity. It will also provide the statistics of the smartphone, market share of different phone brands, and the percentage share of 4G, 3G, 2G capable phones easily.
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