The prophecy of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that MNP woudn’t be a “game changer” is holding true for the moment, with small number of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) requests being made in India, relative to the active subscriber base of around 573 million. But the numbers are increasing, month on month:

March 2011 saw a 67.56% increase in requests for MNP in India, compared to the previous month: about 6.42 million subscribers have submitted requests for changing their telecom service provider by the end of March 2011; India had around 579.39 million active connections at the same time. Out of these requests around 4.33 lakh pertains to Haryana wherein MNP was first piloted on 25th November 2010. Some trends from the data released by the India’s Telecom regulator TRAI:

– Delhi tops among the metropolitan cities with 77.88% growth rate in MNP with 308,515 total porting requests.
– Both the zones – Zone 1 for Northern & Western India and Zone 2 for Southern & Eastern India, have shown an increase in MNP requests by over 65%, albeit on a small base.
– Zone 1 saw 1,426,449 in total, while Zone 2 saw 1,163,112 in all.
– In Zone-I, the maximum number of requests have been received in Gujarat (6.17 lakh), followed by Rajasthan (5.49 lakh) than that of 3.13 lakh and 3.64 lakh respectively in February. Uttar Pradesh (East) tops the zone with a growth rate of 78.47%.
– In  Zone-II maximum number of requests have been received in Karnataka ( 5.29 lakh) followed by Tamil Nadu Service area(4.74 lakh) as compared to that of 3.18 lakh and 2.76 lakh respectively in February.
– If we compare the data of February 2011 and March 2011, we can see an exponential jump in MNP requests in North East(154.05%, 4,733in total as compared to 1,863 in February ) and Assam(113.79%, 17,762 in total as compared to 8,308 in February) followed by Orissa(91.62%, 109,203 in total than that of 56,989 in February). Note that these changes are on a small base.

Please Note that the TRAI has not released telecom operator specific data, and we only have outdated data from January 2011 for reference, which was released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). We’re filing an RTI request for updated data.

In the meantime, the old, operator-wise data for January 2011 (pdf):

– Idea ranks number 1 amongst the operators with 391,191 subscribers porting in with a Net
addition of 0.18%
– Vodafone comes in a close second with Net addition of 0.15%
– To our surprise, Bharti Airtel who were supposed to benefit most from the MNP lagged behind Idea
and Vodafone with Net addition of 0.10%.
– Reliance, owing to its substandard services finishes at the bottom with Net addition of -0.24%
with 351,170 subscribers porting out.