The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended telecom companies to implement pan-India inter circle mobile number portability (MNP) within six months.

Mobile number portability, introduced in January 2011, allows users to port their mobile number from one operator to another. Currently, India has 22 telecom circles and doesn’t allow MNP between those circles, which kind of limits the usability of the service. As of June 2013, around 95.6 million users have requested to port their number from one operator to another.

To implement inter and intra circle MNP, TRAI has recommended that recipient operator should forward the porting request to the mobile number portability service provider (MNPSP) of the respective zone. It says this is the most cost effective approach for telecom service providers (TSPs) and MNPSPs since it will not require interconnection between the MNP providers, thereby minimizing the cost for setting up the system.

However, TSPs will be required to upgrade their existing backend system such as CRM, mediation platform, provisioning systems/ activation systems, billing systems, number managements systems, recharging platform, VAS management system, etc. Where as MNPSPs will be required to upgrade their MCH to support complete numbering plan, graphical user interface (GUI), among others.

TRAI is also considering reducing the testing fee by 25% for testing various scenarios in full MNP for TSPs and MNPSPs. Current testing fee charges are:

TRAI MNP

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).

In December 2012, telecom minister Kapil Sibal had announced that nationwide mobile number portability will be implemented in the country by February 2013, but that didn’t happen. In July 2013, TRAI had allowed mass mobile mobile number portability for corporate accounts, following complaints about it being denied for corporate numbers, due to “contractual obligations”.