Terms of Reference (TOR) for hiring a consultant to draft  a consultation paper (or papers) to obtain the views of all the stakeholders on the deployment of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) services in Sri Lanka and develop a comprehensive report on the methodology of obtaining the services of an MNP service provider and prepare the necessary Guidelines and Regulations.

1. Purpose

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) seeks the assistance of a qualified  consultancy firm (hereafter referred to as “consultant”) to prepare a consultation paper on the deployment of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) services in Sri Lanka and develop a comprehensive report on the responses received which can lead to the drafting of the necessary Guidelines and Regulations. Eligible consultants are invited to submit Proposals along with a financial bid as per the Terms of Reference (TOR).

2. Background

TRCSL is the independent telecommunications regulatory body established in 1997 under the Sri Lanka Telecommunications (Amendment) Act No.27 of with the view to regulating the Telecommunications sector in Sri Lanka. TRCSL has a direct responsibility to issue licenses in transparent, fair and non-discriminative manner, ensure full liberalization of the telecommunications market, promote the effective competition among the players, and manage the limited telecommunication resources such as the radio spectrum, numbering and right of way.

3. Objective

The TRCSL intends to introduce MNP as an initial step of introducing Number Portability in general at a later date covering both mobile and fixed services. MNP allows the subscribers to retain their existing mobile numbers when they move from one service provider to another. This facility is considered to increase the competition among the providers thereby improving their respective efficiencies to the overall benefit of the customers.

The overall objective of the consultancy is to establish, in consultation with stakeholders, a regulatory framework for mobile number portability and provide recommendations and other related documents for the procurement of the needed system for the implementation of MNP in the most cost effective way. This is intended to facilitate and maintain effective competition among the mobile service operators with the ultimate goal of providing a cost effective, efficient service while improving the quality of service to the benefit of consumers.  
This assignment will require a detailed consultation process, with the views and comments expressed by stake holders during the consultation phase to be taken into account when formulating the Guidelines and Regulations on MNP

4. Scope of the Work

The specific tasks to be undertaken by the consultants including, but not limited to, include the following:

  • The consultant will prepare the consultation paper (or papers) and involve TRCSL staff at appropriate levels to ensure local relevance and completeness of analysis.   This paper may include, based on discussions with the TRCSL;
  • An overview of the concept of Number Portability explaining the different technical options available and their merits and de-merits with respect to technical, operational and economic issues that might arise in its implementation in Sri Lanka. The suitability of the All Call Query (ACQ) system that has been widely accepted in the Region for Sri Lanka as well.
  • Summaries of international practices and experiences, especially from the South Asian region and other countries in the world that are similar to Sri Lanka (telecom market dynamics, population, income levels etc)  with regard to (a) customer satisfaction and increased competition (b) adequacy of the prevailing interconnection arrangements (c) any technical issues in the portability of services such as SMS, data, voicemail, VAS etc, and signaling (d) Numbering Plan (e) appropriate timing of implementation.
  • The methodology of providing the MNP service that shall cover the designing, installing and also operating and maintaining the Number Portability Database (NPDB) and the MNP Clearing House (MCH). The following options could be covered:

i). Funding and maintaining this facility of providing the service by an MNP Service Provider  namely (a) by the TRCSL, (b) by a consortium of all Operators concerned or to (c) operate on a ‘Build, Operate and Own’ basis, or else:

ii) By a consortium of the stakeholders or a single Operator providing the MNP service with the exclusion of the MNP Database which database shall be set up and operated by an independent organization under the direction of the TRCSL.

iii) Or any other option available for providing the MNP service.

  • Detailed analysis of the legal, technical, operational, commercial, policy and regulatory issues of MNP deployment; this shall also include cost allocation mechanisms covering Set up costs, Management costs and Administration costs.
  • Possible effects on the scenario with the impending migration towards NGN.
  • Views and consensus on charges payable by both customers and Operators that shall include Port Transaction charge, Dipping Charge and Porting Charge. Whether these charges be regulated to ensure that portability is not discouraged.
  • The consultant will need to integrate international best practices with the specific regulatory norms of Sri Lanka when preparing the detailed consultation paper which shall set out an comprehensive set of questions to respond to:

b. Stakeholder consultation workshop.  Following issuance of the TRCSL approved consultation paper, the consultants will assist TRCSL to organize and conduct a public consultation workshop of all stakeholders. This will invite stakeholders’ written and oral responses on the issues raised in the consultation paper. The consultant will also use this opportunity to engage in consensus building between the stakeholders on the issues identified in the paper.

 

c. Preparation of Consultation report.   Based on the discussions and submissions following the publication of the consultation paper and the workshop, the consultant will prepare a report in close coordination with the TRCSL that including draft recommendation to TRCSL. This shall cover the best suitable technical option, methodology in selecting and funding the MNP service provider and its operation,  charges payable and the Regulations and Guidelines,

 

5. Consultant Qualifications

The Consultant will be an individual or a firm, selected based on its qualifications, experience and capacity in carrying out this consultancy. The Consultant is expected to have relevant knowledge and experience in the telecommunications sector particularly technical, operational, and regulatory aspects of successfully implementing MNP services.  The experience relevant to the implementation of MNP for the key personnel must be stated.

For the purpose of this particular work, applicant should meet the following qualifying criteria as a minimum:

i. The team leader of the consulting firm should possess a telecommunications degree or an equivalent from an internationally recognized university or an Institution with demonstrated experience in planning and deploying MNP service.  The team leader should have detailed knowledge of the engineering, commercial and regulatory aspects of mobile networks and MNP.

 

ii. Regulatory expert, with demonstrated experience of working on mobile number portability issues, specifically on related regulatory issues.

 

All members of the Consultant’s team should: (i) have at least 5 years of demonstrated experience in the area of expertise; and (ii)  be fluent in English.

6.      Conduct of the Assignment
TRCSL will provide the consultants with office space and access to documents available with TRCSL and relevant to the task.

7. Reporting Procedure
The Consultants will report to their counterpart team of TRCSL who in turn will coordinate with relevant Government agencies & stakeholders and provides access to reports, information, data and support facilities for the consultant.

8. Deliverables

The Consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables that will be submitted to the counterpart team of TRCSL for approval at the end of each task.

i. Inception Report - should include a detailed time based work plan for the consultations and the submission of the Reports, Recommendations, a Regulatory Framework, Specifications and Bid Documents.

ii.  Consultation papers identifying relevant issues as outlined in the Scope of Work stated in paragraph 4 above and inviting comments from the public & stakeholders on the deployment of MNP Services in Sri Lanka;

 

iii. Conduct of stakeholder consultation workshops that will lead into consensus on technical option, charges payable, and the regulatory framework.

iv. Report on the public consultation incorporating stakeholders’ comments, views and feedback on the issues mentioned in (iii) above in coordination with the TRCSL counterparts.

 

v. Draft Final Report on the Recommendations covering the methodology of selecting a MNP service provider, technical option to be adopted, various charges payable and the Regulatory framework for implementing MNP in Sri Lanka.

vi. Final Report incorporating all feedback from TRCSL counterparts, emphasizing on the technical option, methodology of selecting a MNP service Provider and maintaining the service, various charges payable, Regulatory Framework and the timing of the implementation.

 

vii. Specifications and Bid Documents for the Network Architecture, Number Portability Database (NPDB) and the MNP Clearing House (MCH). The Specifications shall also provide for the technical and commercial aspects of the system as a whole and shall provide guidelines for the selection of a vendor.

9. Timeline and Payment Schedule

The successful consultant will be required to enter into a formal contract with the TRCSL not more than one week after signing the contract. The Final Report, the Specifications and the Bid documents should be submitted to TRCSL within 16 weeks from the date of award of the contract.

The following is the deliverable timeline and schedule of payments for the consultancy. This schedule could however be modified if necessary, in consultation with the Consultant.

Milestone

Timeline
(after contract
signature)

Payment
(As a % of contract)

Contract signing

-

10%

Inception report

2 week

10%

Draft Consultation Papers

4 weeks

15%

Report on the public consultation/s

9 weeks

15%

Draft Final Report

11 weeks

15%

Final Report incorporating all feedback from TRCSL counterparts, emphasizing on the preferred technical option,  methodology of selecting a MNP service Provider and maintaining the service,  charges payable, Regulatory Framework and the timing of the implementation.

14 weeks

20%

Specifications and Bid Documents

16 weeks

15%

Total

16 weeks

100%