The telecom minister, Kapil Sibal, has announced that nationwide mobile number portability will be implemented in the country by February 2013, reports TOI. The service will allow users to retain their numbers even if they move from one state to another, essentially shifting between telecom circles.
The initiative will be implemented under the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012. The intra-circle Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was first recommended in the NTP 2011 and after a wait of around eight months, the Union Cabinet had approved the National Telecom Policy (NTP 2012). Currently, India has 22 telecom circles and doesn’t allow MNP between those circles.
In January 2011, the Indian government had launched the MNP service but with limited ability to switch between telecom operators in a particular circle. As of September 2012, 69.77 million subscribers submitted number porting requests, according to the data released by TRAI. With the inter-circle MNP service, users will be able to switch service providers even when they move from one circle to another, a service that was not previously provided.
The Indian government is also planning to remove roaming charges for mobiles phones across India under the NTP 2012 from next year.
Our coverage of the National Telecom Policy 2012:
- India’s New Telecom Policy 2012: What’s Changed? Additions & Omissions
- India’s New National Telecom Policy Approved; Unified Service Licenses, Intra-Circle MNP, Spectrum Reforms
- Mobile Roaming Charges To Be Abolished In 2013: Report
Our Take on the DoT Recommendations in the Draft National Telecom Policy 2011:
- Draft New Telecom Policy 2011: Broadband Related Provisions & Issues Not Addressed
- India’s Draft New Telecom Policy 2011: The Policy That Could Change India’s Digital Business Forever
- India’s Draft National Telecom Policy 2011: What’s In It For Startups, Content & Service Providers
- India’s Draft National Telecom Policy 2011: On Licensing, Regulation, Convergence, Spectrum And Manufacturing