Telecom regulator’s system gets overloaded as people rush to register their mobile setsThe authority is all set to implement the Mobile Device Management System from July 16 that will make illegally imported mobile phones unusable.
Nepal Telecommunications Authority has said its system has been interrupted for the last five or six days due to overwhelming traffic in the site after people were provided a link to register the IMEI number of their mobile phones imported through unofficial channels.
IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity number is used to uniquely identify a mobile device on the network. Every mobile phone has a unique 15-digit IMEI number.
The authority is all set to implement the Mobile Device Management System from July 16 that will make illegally imported mobile phones unusable.
Santosh Poudel, director at telecommunication authority, told the Post that the rush of customers to register their mobile device has overwhelmed the system. “The problem, however, will be resolved before July 16,” said Poudel.
“As the system has not been functioning for the last few days, we are not aware of how many mobile devices have been registered so far,” Poudel told the Post.
“The IMEI number of officially imported mobile phones is initially registered by the importing company. Customers who have purchased the sets from the importers do not have to register their phones,” the authority said in a notice issued on Wednesday.
But those who have bought the mobile device for personal use from the foreign countries have been given a certain time to get their mobile sets registered so that service for them will not get interrupted, according to the notice.
Poudel said that the primary software for the Mobile Device Management System, a system to keep a record of any and all phones that enter Nepal, would take around three months to be set up.
In June 2019, the telecom regulator had selected Malaysian firm Nuemera as the service provider to implement the system. The system was being built at a cost of Rs650 million.
“We are using the secondary software of the Integrated Data Center of the government. A soft launch of the new system has been planned for July 16,” said Poudel.
All mobile sets bought without a bill or imported into the country without paying customs duty will become unusable after the new system is implemented.
Once the system gets enforced, Nepali citizens will be permitted to bring only one mobile set with them from abroad along with the bill of purchase.
According to the authority, if people entering Nepal bring more than one set, they will have to pay the customs duty for the extra sets. All phones will need to be registered and illegal mobile devices [mobile without bills] will be blocked from use in Nepal.The move is also expected to control criminal activities, according to the regulator. All mobile devices are identified by an Electronic Serial Number (ESN) or a Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID). The system to be set up will enable the registration of mobile devices, verification of IMEI, ESN, MEID and identification of non-compliant mobile devices.