Mr. Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Finance Minister, revealed yesterday that the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) will be deployed in Nepal on Shrawan 1, 2078, during the budget release for fiscal year 2078/79.
This technique will aid in the regulation of illegal smartphone imports into Nepal.
Nepal's Mobile Device Management System (MDMS)
For a long time, the sale of smartphones on the black market has been a serious issue in Nepal. If you're not familiar with the word, it refers to the distribution and sale of official goods through non-official means. As a result, the government loses out on tax opportunities, while official importers lose business.
To address this issue, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) mandated IMEI registration. The Mobile Device Management System will now be introduced in Nepal for the same objective. MDMS was expected to be operational from Jestha 2078 onwards.
The IMEI of your phone should be registered with the National Telecommunications Administration (NTA).
To make things easier for users, the NTA began offering online IMEI registration.
To register your phone with the database.
You will receive an email acknowledging your request for IMEI registration after submitting the application.
After the background investigation is completed, the NTA will either reject or approve the application.
You can use this page to see if your phone is registered.
In April 2016, the NTA made IMEI registration mandatory in this country. It has even stated that phones with unregistered IMEI numbers would be rendered inoperable as of April 1, 2017. The company, however, elected not to take action for a variety of reasons.
The online IMEI registration mechanism, however, hasn't totally solved the problem. NTA had been intending to implement Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) for quite some time in order to accomplish this. We'd been hearing bits and pieces about its progress, along with ambiguous information about its eventual availability.
So, what's going to happen next?
In any case, illegally purchased mobile phones will no longer work following the adoption of MDMS. As a result, the sale of smartphones through unlawful means will practically come to an end.
MDMS is a centralized government-owned system that tracks all phones and other electronic accessories that enter the country using their unique IMEI number (s). Smartphones, feature phones, bar phones, tablets, and other mobile devices fall into this category. So, basically, any device with a SIM card. Following its implementation:
Phones that are not registered with the NTA (illegal/grey imports) would be prevented from using any of Nepal's carrier networks.
This means you'll be able to utilize the phone's other features, such as connecting to WiFi and streaming media. It will be impossible to make or receive phone calls or texts.
Consider the iPhone vs. the iPod Touch. Your unregistered gadget is currently an iPhone, but once MDMS goes online, it will become an iPod Touch. There will be no cellular connectivity, but everything else that you'd expect from a smartphone will operate well.
You won't be able to make a police report if and when you lose one of these phones. Furthermore, because you are utilizing an unregistered equipment, you will be subject to the existing regulations' penalties.
How did the Nepalese Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) come to be?
This project began in 2018 and was awarded to OSI Consultancy (India), Numera SDN. BHD. (Malaysia), and Namaste Global Communications (Malaysia) (Singapore). The cost of constructing this system is anticipated to be little over $7 million dollars. As you might assume, this system will only recognize and authorize imports that have completed their due diligence.
MDMS will be used by all official smartphone distributors and importers to register their handsets. However, any national telecom operator's network will effectively prohibit illegally imported devices.
If you receive a smartphone as a gift from another country, you will be required to pay a small cost to register it with the system. However, the exact policy on this is still being worked out. As a result, the specifics will be made public in the coming days.
In addition, the Mobile Device Management System will allow you to trace your device in the event of theft or loss. Overall, the addition of MDMS to the Nepalese smartphone market is welcome news. It will benefit not only the distributors, but also the end users.
Why is it necessary to register an IMEI in Nepal?
Importers of mobile phones must currently pay a 13 percent VAT and a 2.5 percent excise charge. Furthermore, the government has cut the VAT refund percentage to 0% this year. As a result, it's no surprise that smartphones purchased on the black market are inexpensive because they avoid both fees.
According to the Nepal Mobile Distributors Association (NMDA), the grey market accounts for roughly 25% of Nepal's total smartphone market. There is a surge in demand for mobile phones right now.
Imports of smartphones have reached an all-time high.
According to the latest Customs Department report, 6.35 million phones worth Rs. 32.09 billion were imported in the first ten months of fiscal year 2077/78, the highest ever in the country's history. And when you realize that this occurred during a pandemic, the record becomes even more astounding.
In comparison, during the same time period the previous year, smartphone imports totaled merely Rs. 14.68 billion. As you can see, this 2.18x increase is significant for Nepal's smartphone business and demonstrates the effectiveness of IMEI registration in preventing grey imports.
Furthermore, smartphone-based monetary transactions have expanded. As a result, if the smartphone grey market is left unchecked, it will only grow because to high demand. For the official distributors, this is a major worry. As a result, NMDA is keen for the MDMS to be implemented.
Furthermore, the Mobile Phone Importers Association (MPIA) and the National Mobile Device Association (NMDA) have slapped holograms on the phone's box to help customers identify official imports. So, perhaps, the issue of mobile phone sales on the black market will be resolved shortly. However, everything is contingent on NTA's level of implementation.
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