Nepal’s telecom regulator Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) implemented the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) in Nepal from Kartik 20, 2080. This follows the 15-day deadline given on Kartik 04 and now, the authority has started blacklisting grey phones starting with the high-end handsets. This mobile monitoring system is being used to contain the grey phone market, and revenue collection, and bring all mobile devices within state-level monitoring.
Contrary to the initial decision, the government now has allowed Nepalese to bring two devices without paying any charges while coming home from foreign work.
Earlier, the regulator had beta-launched the MDMS system on Bhadra 30. The mobile security system witnessed a series of delays and debates before its other soft launch on Jestha 01 and Shrawan 1st.
NTA also added that new mobile phones must be registered in MDMS for telecom services or they won’t be functional on any network in Nepal.
MDMS IN NEPAL
What is MDMS?
MDMS stands for Mobile Device Management System. It is a security software system that helps authorities monitor, manage, and trace every registered phone in the country whichever telecom network they are on. The system will allow authorities to control and distribute stringent security policies to all mobile devices and ensure they are all safe and secure. Besides, the security software will verify devices’ authenticity and even lock them out of telecom services over the air if found illegitimate.
Most of the grey phones in Nepal enter via open borders in the South. Such phones evade customs and get cheaper for Nepali consumers. Meanwhile, Nepalese abroad bring phones as gifts for their family and friends in Nepal. These phones enter Nepal without registration. Although the government was to implement MDMS since Jestha, COVID-19 had forced its delay. Anyway, there is an added seriousness and hard work put into it by the government this time around.
MDMS registration cost for Android, iPhone, and bar phone
You need to pay a sum for MDMS registration for your phone. Depending on the cost of your phone or whether your phone is an Android, iPhone, or a bar phone, you need to pay a fee for legitimizing your phone. Let’s specify the cost in detail.
If your phone’s cost is above 1 lakh or an iPhone, you need to pay Rs 10,000 for MDMS registration. If it’s a midrange Android device, the same will cost you Rs 3,000. If it’s a general bar phone, MDMS registration will cost you Rs 200 only.
|Types of mobile phones
|MDMS registration fees
|For new iPhones
|smartphones that cost above Rs 1 lakh (Android)
|Budget Android Phones or below Rs 1 lakh
Again a reminder! MDMS in Nepal is coming to full effect by Kartik 19. If in case, you have a new phone that is not yet registered, then we suggest you register your phone right away and avoid blacklisting by MDMS.
This is how you can register your unregistered phone | Grey phone registration in MDMS Nepal
In case you have a phone that is not registered in MDMS NTA, you need to do so soon as it may hit the blacklist from the start of the next fiscal year FY 2080/81 BS. So, if you still carry such an “illegitimate” phone, follow the steps below to register your grey phone in MDMS Nepal.
- First, go to this NTA portal.
- Now an interface opens up where you need to enter details- phone’s IMEI, personal details, and address.
- Hit Proceed to Next Step.
- Select how you want to pay for your phone’s registration. You have the option of payment via eSewa, Khalti, and ConnectIPS.
- After you fulfill your phone registration payment, your phone will be registered in MDMS.
Steps for MDMS registration in Nepal 2023
To register your phone in MDMS Nepal, follow the steps below:
- First, go to this NTA webpage.
- You will find registration options for many scenarios. Click “Click here to register” under “Individual Registration”.
- Now, fill out the details required of your mobile phone in concern. Give accurate IMEI, Brand, and Model, and also reveal whether the phone is currently in use or not. After entering the details, click on “Validate IME and Continue at the bottom”.
- Note: If the phone is already registered, then after you enter the IMEI, the page tells you that the device is already registered and requires no such process again.
- Now, you provide an email address to get an OTP which you will be required to enter for further process.
- Enter your personal details such as the mobile number you use, your address, and arrival date, and also mention from which country
- Confirm the information you have entered and upload your ID document which can be a passport, immigration stamp, or else. Also, declare that your phone is genuine and that it is for your personal use.
- You will now get an email for the confirmation of your MDMS online application.
- NTA will now check and verify the details you have provided and decide whether to accept it or not which will be notified via an email.
- Remember: All of your details must be correct, and stamps must be clear and visible for the verification process.
How can I register my grey phone in MDMS Nepal?
Additionally, NTA has started an online system to help you register your “grey” phone in the MDMS system. If you carry a grey iPhone, Android, or a bar phone, then you can finally register it at NTA’s MDMS portal. Remember that you need to pay charges for the type of phone you are registering.
To register your grey phone, follow the steps below:
- First, visit this link and click on Grey Registration as highlighted in the image above or directly click/tap here.
- Submit your device’s details such as IMEI, personal details, and your address
- Click on “Proceed to Next Step”.
- Choose your preferred mode of payment from eSewa, Khalti, and ConnectIPS
- After paying the charges for your phone type, your grey phone’s MDMS registration will be complete.
NTA starts blacklisting unregistered phones in nepal from Kartik 20
NTA has warned users that their devices will face blacklisting if they failed to register their phones IMEI in MDMS. The authority gave the deadline till Kartik 20 to register the unregistered phones. Initially, the last deadline for phone registration was Sharawan 1st. However, not many handset owners seemed to take cognizance of it. The latest warning has been more stark and earnest.
NTA says that users can register their phones using their passport/citizenship/national identity card along with the LC document at NTA’s official website mdms.nta.gov.np.
Confirm your phone’s registration
If you are unsure of your phone’s MDMS registration status, you can confirm it first at the NTA website. NTA says, “So, everyone is requested to buy phones that are registered in MDMS. It also says that only the handsets that are registered at NTA will be sold and distributed with prior approval of the authority.
If you are concerned about the status of your phone’s registration, and what could happen to your phone if it is unregistered, you will learn comprehensively in this post. We will guide you through the process to register your phone’s IMEI to avoid blacklisting by NTA and also detail MDMS security software.
Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) has started operation on grey phones in Nepal post-Kartik 20.
Meanwhile, you can also check your phone’s IMEI verification at mdms.nta.gov.np to confirm if your device is registered in MDMS. However, there is a high chance that you have already received a message confirming your device’s MDMS verification.
Benefits Of MDMS
MDMS is all-encompassing software that will upgrade Nepali’s smartphone regulation up a notch. Bringing smartphones within this system will have benefits for all parties. The government will collect revenues on all the phones entering Nepal. NTA will have details of all the phones operating on all mobile networks. The users meanwhile, will also have several advantages.
NTA asst. Spokesman Achyutananda Mishra has said MDMS will significantly discourage mobile phone thefts. If an unregistered phone is stolen or lost, NTA cannot help owners retrieve it because of the lack of IMEI in its directory. However, the mandatory phone registration means any missing phones can be tracked for their locations. This will keep everybody alert in ‘cases’. Therefore, MDMS is not only beneficial to the government but also to the users too.
In essence, the following are the key advantages of MDMS in Nepal.
- The government can get its revenue from mobile phones which is estimated to be around Rs 3-4 billion annually.
- MDMS will discourage the purchase of stolen, or counterfeit devices.
- The grey phone market can be minimized and eliminated which is compromising the safety and security of phone users in Nepal.
- Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) will have the details of each device’s IMEI which can be handy for criminal investigation and other offenses.
- Mobile phones become verified which means you are using a completely legitimate device reaching all regulatory criteria. It’s a peace of mind thing.
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Why do Nepalese Buy Grey Phones?
Simply put, grey phones come cheap and it has to do with the government’s tax scheme. Nepal Government charges 13% VAT and another 2.5% excise on mobile imports. Adding further, it has slashed VAT return to 0%. That is why unauthorized phones come cheap for both retailers and consumers.
Mostly, in border areas with India, retailers or third-party sellers sneak across with smartphones skipping customs. When they reach Nepali stores, the retailers can offer them at lower prices compared to official phones with heavy taxes on them. If consumers find phones with similar features at diverging price ranges, they are likely to choose the cheaper ones. Then there are those phones Nepali abroad bring to Nepal via flights. Those phones also escape registrations and freely operate on the Nepali network unregulated.
MDMS in Nepal will serve multiple purposes
The objective of MDMS goes beyond merely airbrushing the so-called grey phones. The proposed plan is the Nepali government’s broader initiative to manage, monitor, and regulate mobile phones in Nepal. This will not only lessen the marginalized unregistered phones but will save government revenues, and help in anti-theft activities. Customarily, phone exporters receive their Type Approval Certificate from NTA for a particular brand and model of the device. This follows the registration of their IMEI by the NTA before they enter Nepal. But the grey phones do not follow these protocols. Retailers sneak around and import a large number of phones from India and sell them to Nepali customers.
For effective implementation, NTA will head start an independent department. Besides, the authority is going to maintain a network of phone makers, telecom operators, law enforcement agencies, and customs officials to constrain the mobility of unauthorized phones in Nepal.
After a Nepali SIM is inserted into a phone of any telecom network, MDMS begins authenticating the phone in its servers. Out of the millions of phones’ details, it will look for the particular phone’s IMEI. If it fails to track the IMEI, it can blacklist the phone, and terminate all the telecom services on it. There could follow some legal ramifications on the user’s end too for using an unauthorized device.
If you have any queries regarding MDMS and the steps to IMEI verification, we will be glad to clear up all your confusion about it. Kindly let us know in the comments below.