The inconvenience that comes with changing mobile phone numbers will soon be a thing of the past with the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) scheduled for introduction as early as next year.
With MNP, users can switch to any network provider and retain their phone numbers. In the past, it was the hassle of informing friends and contacts of a new phone number that put people off from switching to a new service provider.
The MNP will allow users to continue using their old numbers when they switch to another mobile network. “The prefix number no longer determines what network a user is on,” said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) corporate communications head Adelina Iskandar.
“A user may retain a 019 number but actually be using Maxis (012) or Digi (016) as the service provider.” Adelina said MNP would also apply to prepaid users wanting to convert to post-paid accounts. However, she said there might be compatibility issues involving certain devices and the different service providers.
MCMC said in a statement that new operators would benefit the most from the MNP as it allowed them to increase market share with customers of existing operators who wanted to switch. “The main benefit of MNP to consumers is the cost saving in not having to change telephone numbers while at the same time having the freedom to choose the supplier.”
The Government has named Talian Gerak Alih Sdn Bhd, Unified Communications Sdn Bhd and Telcordia Technologies Inc as the operators of Malaysian Mobile Number Portability Clearinghouse to manage the routing of the numbers.
The design and development of the clearinghouse is expected to be completed by August for a pilot implementation. -TheStar