Nearly 0.7 million mobile phone subscribers have switched operators without changing their original 11-digit phone numbers through the mobile number portability (MNP) service in the last one year.
Since the inception of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in early October last year, country’s second largest mobile operator Robi bagged the highest number of subscribers from other operators.
According to the report by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Robi received 4.96 lakh mobile users who were earlier used to be other operators’ subscribers while 1.69 lakh customers left Robi’s network.
Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in the country, received 1.26 lakh customers and losing 2.74 lakh. Banglalink received 68,528 customers from others networks while 2.89 lakh users left the operator. State owned Teletalk is in the last position in both segments. They got 4,427 customers from others and lost 8,101 from October last year to September this year.
As of September, a total of 6.90 lakh mobile phone users successfully switched their operators without changing their existing 11 digits number through MNP service introduced a year ago, according to a report of the telecom regulator.
Another 2.57 lakh mobile phone customers failed in their attempts to avail the same service because of various complications.
Industry insiders said that the higher SIM replacement tax of Tk 200 might have affected the expected outcome of the MNP service. Mobile phone users, however, said the service quality after using MNP was not satisfactory yet.
When the MNP service took off, the National Board of Revenue withdrew the SIM tax of Tk 115 for switching operators, but the SIM replacement tax has been introduced in the current budget again, resulting in a decline in the number of users switching operators.
Currently, the users are paying Tk 57 service charge for availing the MNP service and Tk 200 SIM replacement tax on top of that.
Number of total subscribers in the country has reached 162.58 million at the end of August this year, according to the BTRC. Of them, 75.6 million users are subscribers of Grameenphone, 47.76 million of Robi Axiata, 34.8 million of Banglalink and 4.38 million of Teletalk.
As per guideline, customers can leave their existing mobile network and choose another every 90 days. The operators urged the regulator as well as Infozillion Teletech BD, the lone MNP service provider, to make the process of switching a network operator seamless.