Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in India has been delayed yet again, this time till June 30th 2010. It was first to be implemented by December 2009, which was postponed to 31 March, and now the implementation has been deferred by three more months.
(Nikhil adds: The unpreparedness of some telecom operators has been cited as a reason for the delay. If the delay were due to operators other than MTNL or BSNL, would the government have put in punitive provisions? It’s not possible for some telecom operators to enable MNP, and others not to, since it wouldn’t be a level playing field. We also believe that MNP should be extended to fixed line numbers: the quality of service there, particularly from the government owned telcos, is awful, and consumers should be given the choice to move out and retain the same number. P.s.: In response to the question “Will it ever be implemented?” Yes, I think it will, maybe before the turn of the century.)
The telecom operators have been asked to start tests immediately, and the government plans to closely follow the deployment: the operators are required to ensure smooth testing by other operators also in all network areas, and if they fail to co-operate, the matter will be brought under scrutiny by the DoT. All tests are to be completed by 15th May.
The Government has further asked BSNL, MTNL and Uninor, who are yet to install MNP gateways, to start conducting call flow tests immediately without waiting for the gateways and conduct other required tests as well to meet the May 15th deadline. The last time it was postponed in December it was because telcos were not ready especially BSNL and MTNL who had informed the Government of their unpreparedness.
The incumbent telcos would be the most affected by MNP and so they were allegedly stalling the implementation deliberately till 3G auction and services got underway after which they would have a better chance to survive the churn.
3G auctions after being postponed umpteen number of times has finally seen light of day, and for MNP, things still look dark.
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—Rules & Criteria For Applying For Mobile Number Portability In India
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