1st January 2020 Kathmandu
The mobile device management system (MDMS), which was scheduled to be operational by the Nepal Telecommunication Authority on January 1, will not commence at the designated time. The telecommunication authority has sent a letter of extension till March to the company that signed an agreement for the operation of MDMS by collecting the IMEI numbers of the devices thus postponing the operation.
MDMS, which is set to invest around One Arba rupees, will manage every mobile handset within the country, imported from abroad and market handsets in the market. It will collect the entire mobile handset information by registering the IMEI number that differentiates the mobile set. This system can register at least 10 Crore IMEI numbers. This device will register and record every device that has an IMEI number.
Based on the IMEIs registered in this system, three lists will be created. The lists will include White-List, Gray-List, and Black-List. Mobile handsets in the whitelist will be legal use. Likewise, the stolen, lost, invalid numbers will be kept in the black-list, while registered but not usable, numbers currently being investigated, and suspicious numbers will be on the gray list. Only the handset for the IMEI number placed on the whitelist can be used on the telecommunications service provider’s network once the system is operational.
Numera JV, which got the contract for MDMS, has said that it had to extend the timeframe due to the lack of work on NTA’s part, despite the fact that the company itself moved ahead to complete the work within the stipulated time.
“We have not been able to work on our behalf and we have extended the timeframe for three months with prior information about it,” said an official of the telecommunication authority.
He said that the infrastructure work was not done by the authority and it was too late for the system to be installed. He said the company had already given the authorities preliminary information about the software being ready for the system.
“Numera had sent the telecommunication authority the preliminary draft of the software design on August 27, and we had corresponded on November 11 about the improvements to be made,” the official said.
But the infrastructure needed for this system has not yet been completed by the Nepal Telecommunication Authority. The authority claims that the infrastructure is delayed since it is unclear where to place the system. In addition, MDMS will also be delayed in operation due to delays in other administrative tasks.
Purushottam Khanal said that the MDMS system is being prepared to be installed at Khumaltar Radio Nepal, but the location is still to be received by the authority.
He said, “We don’t have the land that Radio Nepal owns, this is one of the reasons why MDMS is delayed.”
He added the system would be put in Chabahil if the deal at Khumaltar didn’t succeed. He said the deal in construction of the system wasn’t just land disputes but also the opening of the LC compelled them to postpone the operation.
Earlier, the Authority had planned to bring MDMS operational from January 1, 2020. Numera JV, which received the MDMS contract, was given a contract through the competition to prepare a backup system that could hold at least 4 Crore to 10 Crore IMEI numbers. The company will be responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the MDMS for up to 5 years.
The government had decided to give the 42 Ropani lands to the Telecommunication Authority in Khulmatar, Lalitpur, by the decision of the cabinet. Although the NTA has decided to buy the land, which has been fixed at Rs. 40 lakh per Aana, Radio Nepal has not yet given the documents of the land. Radio Nepal has informed the Telecommunication Authority that it owns 26 Ropani of the land. Radio Nepal sent a letter to the Telecommunication Authority on Mangsir 24, stating that during the transfer of the land owned by Radio Nepal, they’ll also clarify the land-map of the remaining portion of the land. Although the remaining land isn’t owned by Radio Nepal, according to the government’s decision, NTA has to deposit Rs. 2 Arba 68 Crore 80 Lakhs in Radio Nepal’s bank account.
According to officials from NTA, the postpone was mandatory due to the unclear land documents that were being presented to them. They aim to solve this issue with clear measures and hopefully operate the MDMS within January.