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Find the reasons for delay in NTA’s Mobile Device Management System Project?

Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has issued an update on the progress related to the development of the Mobile device management system (MDMS). NTA has informed that the software development work has been completed in consultation with several stakeholders. They discussed with mobile service providers, customs department, mobile importers, and other stakeholders for that whereas they couldnot carry out the installation work. Find the reason for the delay in the NTA’s MDMS project. They intended to use the MDMS system to manage all the mobile devices (blocking white, grey, and illegal phones) in the country.

NTA entered an agreement with Numera JV (JV of Neumera, OSI Digital, and Namaste Global Comm) in order to make the import, sales, distribution, and use of mobile sets more systematic and effective following Mobile Device Management System Regulations, 2075. However, there is a long delay in the functioning of the NTA MDMS system for some reasons specified below.

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What is the MDMS system?

A mobile device management system (MDMS) is a system software to manage all the mobile devices/handsets operating in the country. MDMS is also called a Centralised EIR system which is governed by the regulator NTA. The system shall record, and control all the smartphones imported to the country.

The software can help improve the efficiency and performance of the regulator in controlling the grey phones in the market. As a matter of fact, they envisioned to completely eradicate grey phones once this system comes into operation. You will also have to register your phone with some charges if you buy phones from abroad.

You will also be able to track your lost/stolen phone with this MDMS system. Similarly, you can ask the authorities to block your lost Phone to stop operating in the country.

Normally the operators themselves managed the EIR (Equipment Identity Register) system in their own network. But since there is a need for control in the country level, the regulator needs to act with this centralized system.

Do check out: Features phones still have significant market in Nepal.

What caused the delay in the MDMS system installation?

On Kartik 5, 2076, after the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Government of Nepal, Radio Nepal was supposed to handover 42 Ropanis of the land at Lalitpur Khulmaltar to NTA. Thus, NTA decided to establish the system in Khulmaltar after the handover. But, Radio Nepal was unable to handover the land to NTA, so the plan of establishing the MDMS system moved to their own land in Chabhil. 

Similarly, due to the difficult situation that occurred due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, NTA had difficulties importing the requirements for building the system and integrate the software. Also, the experts from Malaysia couldn’t make it to Nepal due to airlines shut down. So, it will take longer than expected to solve the problem of installation and operation.

Progress despite difficulties

In spite of the difficulties, the first batch of equipment has arrived. For the time being, they have kept the equipment at the National Information Technology Center, Singh Durbar. Despite the inability of the expert team to come to Nepal, NTA is trying to upload the software whereas the installation and operation of the software are only possible after the arrival of the experts.

Suggested Read: NTA announces the establishment of IT labs in community schools.

With the latest update on the progress of the development of the long-awaited project, it seems difficult to have the Mobile device management system (MDMS) system within 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at first, NTA couldn’t import necessary equipment and international experts required for the installation and operation of the software. However, NTA expresses their commitment to managing the import, distribution, sales, and usage of mobile handsets more effectively and systematically by using MDMS.

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