HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nepal Telecommunications Authority — the telecom regulator in the country — said that around two dozen mobile brands are competing in the mobile set market in Nepal.
“Different companies have applied for type approval of nearly 250 models of mobile phone sets,” said assistant director of Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) Binod Chandra Shrestha, adding that the regulator has approved 15 models so far and it is in the process of approving other models.
“Mobile manufacturing companies and their authorised dealers started
to apply for the type approval after NTA, last May, decided to ban the import of mobile sets which are not registered at the authority,” he informed.
“Customs offices have started banning imports
of unregistered brands of
mobile sets after Nepal Telecommunications Authority decided to control unregistered brands and models keeping the quality of mobile sets in mind,” Shrestha added.
The government can seize mobile phone sets if traders import them without approval from the regulator, according to Shrestha.
“The regulator had been failing to track the number of mobile brands, companies and sets due to the lack of a proper data system earlier,” he said. “NTA had asked the Department of Customs to control the import of unregistered mobile sets in 2008 but it did not implement the request effectively,” he further said.
Both the Department
of Customs and Home
Ministry have been providing assistance to Nepal Telecommunications Authority to control the import of unregistered mobile sets this time, he informed.
The regulator has also started banning unauthentic mobile sets by checking IMEI numbers, he informed. “The regulator has already directed service providers to create Equipment Identity Register (EIR) to track IMEI numbers of all mobile sets,” he said.
The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a number, usually unique, to identify GSM, WCDMA, and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones, according to the regulator.
The IMEI number is used by a GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing that network.