Mobile Number Portability to go nationwide on 3 July
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will be available nationwide from 3 July. Till now, mobile subscribers had the option to switch their service provider within the same telecom circle. Now, the pan-India MNP will allow customers to retain their existing mobile numbers while shifting between states and circles. Bharti Airtel, country's leading telecommunication company, announced its readiness for launching MNP along with its other services.
Now, users could use Mobile Number Portability to switch their telecom operator without changing their number, by paying Rs 19. The operator could be ported multiple times but the number should remain with a telecom operator for at least 3 months. For switching operators, users would have to submit their identity proof, address proof and photograph to their new service provider.
Government introduced a whole new set of features as a part of the National Telecom Policy 2011. The government planned to include the entire country in one telecom circle and abolish all roaming charges. The plans also involved cutting down the costs of value added services such as SMS. Broadband speed was to increase nine times in 4 years.
Uninor's shutdown after Supreme Court's order meant that its one crore customers' mobile services were disconnected. Uninor had to shut down its services everywhere except in six circles, following the Supreme Court's order in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar said that the affected customers of Uninor could opt for other telecom operators through MNP.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, MNP has crossed the 100 million subscriber mark in the country. Close to 11% of the total telecom users have made use of MNP so far. The porting charges of Rs 19 are one of the lowest in the world. Rejection of porting request has been reduced to 11% from the earlier 40%.
According to a TRAI notification, nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP) services were expected to commence from May 3, 2015. TRAI was making MNP applicable to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers to ensure that customers were not harassed by service providers in any way and their interests were safeguarded. Operators were against this move since approximately 9% of their total revenues come from roaming charges.
Department of Telecommunications extended the deadline for country wide implementation of MNP by 2 months. An 8 week extension was sought by the telecom industry body, COAI. DoT had altered the National Numbering Plan and had asked operators to allow users to call anywhere in the country without any prefix such as 0 or +91.