Nigeria's two largest mobile network operators, MTN

and Zain, have agreed to sign up to a centralized

lost/stolen handset database after a

funding agreement was brokered by

the telecommunications regulator.

The Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR)

service provider, Netvisa, will operate

the database independently of the operators.

Under terms of the agreement, the operators

will pay the management fees to Netvisa,

but then reduce their annual

numbering fees paid to the regulator.

The deal lasts for two years, and it is presumed

that when the contract expires, that the operators

will levy the charge direct to the subscriber bills.

Active mobile subscriber base on GSM and

CDMA mobile networks in Nigeria reached

66,418,011 lines at Q2 2009, a development that

will see Netvisa raking in some

N3.2 billion ($21 million) in earnings from

subscribers when all other mobile operators

join MTN and Zain in interconnecting

the CEIR network.

"That is money earned from doing

absolutely nothing", an executive of a

telecommunications company who is conversant

with the development said, on condition

of anonymity, at the weekend while also citing

that operators have come under pressure

to connect the controversy-ridden CEIR

service provider, Netvisa.

The regulator pegged the rate of 40 kobo

per subscriber for the phone blocking service

after Netvisa's proposal for a higher price

was resisted by operators, who also

expressed dissatisfaction with the selection

process that saw the emergence of Netvisa

as the preferred candidate to provide

the single database of blacklisted

phones in the country.

Read more on Telecommunications in Nigeria

Zain (Nigeria) | MTN (Nigeria)

Source(s): Cellular News

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