Thursday, October 23, 2008

MNP next big entry to Sri Lanka mobile market

The next big change in the Sri Lankan telecom industry, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is expected to result in price cuts and other benefits to all mobile users. MNP allows a mobile subscriber to change his operator without changing the number. This easier entry into other networks allows users to choose the best service with less hassle.

It improves market competition which can result in many companies luring subscribers with better services and rates. Executive Director of LIRNEasia, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva said the service charges have come down even in countries which already had lower rates than Sri Lanka, and we can be very optimistic of better rates. He added that the country is estimated to have seven million mobile users and is in a good position to implement MNP.

Since there is a slowing of growth in the mobile subscriber base, this can be beneficial for companies with a small market share. “MNP does not create competition but improves existing competition” he said, explaining that MNP is only good for smaller companies and new entrants, who can lure subscribers with better packages. MNP gives customers to exercise their right to choose so if the existing companies are providing better service, the subscribers will continue to use them. MNP has been implemented in several countries with mixed results and Pakistan has become the first South Asian country, starting its operations this year.

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