Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Revised Framework for MVNO Service in Pakistan

Pin It Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is an operator that does not own any spectrum; instead, MVNOs have commercial arrangements with conventional Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for provision of mobile communication services to their own

2. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority allows Mobile Virtual Network Operator
(MVNO) services in Pakistan in the light of clause 6.12 of Cellular Mobile Policy 2004. The
following terms and conditions shall apply to MVNO service operations in Pakistan:

2.1 Only a company registered with SECP (Securities and Exchange Commission of
Pakistan) shall be allowed to provide MVNO services in Pakistan.

2.2 An MNO shall be allowed to make commercial agreements with multiple MVNOs. Similarly an MVNO shall also be allowed to operate/ make commercial agreements with more than one MNO.

2.3 The MNO that makes commercial agreement with a company for MVNO operation in Pakistan shall submit the same to the Authority for approval prior to giving effect to this agreement. After approval of the agreement, the company (interested in becoming an MVNO) shall apply to the Authority for MVNO class license. License application shall include documents as required in Annex-A.

2.4 MVNOs shall not be allowed to install their own network elements (i.e. Radio Access, Transmission, Switching and Network equipments). Further, the agreement once approved by
the Authority shall not be changed by any party without prior approval of the Authority. 2.5 Number allocation to MVNOs would be in accordance with the procedure specified for this purpose and attached as Annex- B

2.6 Quality of Service shall be the sole responsibility of MVNO. Since MVNO shall hold its own brand name and costumer ownership, market its own SIMs, it must ensure that its users receive good quality of service as per benchmarks set by the Authority. MVNO while entering into an agreement with MNO(s) shall look into this aspect and individual responsibilities in this regard should clearly be pronounced in the document.

2.7 MNO(s) shall be responsible for the national security issues. Appropriate clauses will be included in the agreement to ensure efficient resolution of issues related to security.

2.8 As MVNO will hold the ownership of its customers, it will be responsible for making necessary arrangements to facilitate them. The MVNO shall address the complaints of its own users and for this purpose shall establish at least one customer care centre and a 24/7 help line in each city of its operations. The MVNO shall submit its Code of Commercial Practice for approval from the Authority and shall follow the same in true letter and spirit. Similarly, the MVNO shall get its Customer Agreement Form and Contents of the Standard
Contract of Service Document approved from the Authority prior to commencement of its services.

2.10 MVNO shall also be allowed to enter into roaming agreements with other operators on
mutually agreed terms.

2.11 MVNO shall pay regulatory fees and contributions in the same way as applicable on MNOs. Initial License fee for an MVNO will be US $ 5 million or equivalent in Pak Rs.

2.12 MVNO shall be responsible for the conduct / actions of its own costumers and will make sure that they abide by Laws of the Land and Rules/ Regulations promulgated by the Authority from time to time. MVNO shall be responsible for the resolution of billing or other disputes with its own customers

2.13 Once an MVNO commences its services, the MNO shall provide service to MVNO without interruption. Also, the parent MNOs shall not suspend/terminate services to MVNOs under the commercial agreement without prior approval of the Authority. Similarly, MVNO shall not stop provision of services to it costumers without at least a three (3) months notice and prior approval from the Authority.

2.14 The MVNO license shall be issued for an initial period of 10 years. This license shall be extendable for another term/ terms of 10 years subject to mutual agreement between the parties. Further, the MVNO license shall automatically be terminated upon expiry of agreement between MNO and MVNO or upon expiry of parent MNO’s license. If the Authority for any valid reason terminates the license of Parent MNO, license(s) of attached MVNO(s) shall automatically stand terminated.

2.15 This Framework may be reviewed by the Authority from time to time if the Authority deems fit or circumstances require so.

PTA allocates & approves mobile numbering plan for all cellular mobile operators in light of number Allocation & Administration Regulations 2005. This includes the issuance of Mobile Country Codes (MCC), Mobile Network Codes (MNC), National Destination Code (NDC) along with geographic numbers as per ITU-T recommendations. These numbers are issued in the following format:

MCC : Mobile Country Code
MNC : Mobile Network Code
MSIN : Mobile Subscriber Identification Number
IMSI : International Mobile Subscriber Identity
MCC codes are assigned for each country by the Telecommunications Standardization Bureau within ITU-T (TSB). For Pakistan, the assigned
MCC is (410). The MNC is assigned by the PTA e.g. (01) for Mobilink GSM. MSIN is assigned by the network operator.
MVNOs will follow the following standard operating procedure (SOP) for the allocation
of numbering resources from PTA:
1. MVNO shall provide a copy of license issued by PTA.
2. MVNO shall provide a copy of agreement signed with cellular mobile operator to PTA.
1. Cellular Mobile Operators shall reserve pool of numbers for MVNOs and pass on this
information to PTA along with fees if applicable.
2. PTA will allocate numbering block of 5000 numbers against previously allocated NDC
of particular mobile operator to MVNOs against each city/district/location.
3. MVNOs shall submit numbering utilization Performa for requesting additional
numbering block.
4. MVNOs will submit advance annual number charges along with application processing
fee for number allocation as per “Numbering Administration & Allocation Regulations
5. An MVNO shall be allowed to have numbers from more than one CMTO provided all
requirements are met with each additional CMTO along with any other requirement
which the regulator may impose.
6. The number allocated to MVNO operators shall be allowed to be ported out to any
other cellular network operator within Pakistan.
7. Mobile Number Portability shall be a joint responsibility of MVNO and its parent MNO
[that actually controls the network infrastructure]. In this regard, both parties shall clearly
define technical arrangements & operational procedures.

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