Mobile number portability in India will start on Nov 1

 Mobile number portability (MNP), which allows subscribers to retain numbers even after changing service operators, will be rolled out in November 1, Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja said on Tuesday. “Starting from the Haryana circle, the facility will be rolled out across the country from next month… All the 22 circles will get this service in a phased manner by this year-end,” Mr. Raja told journalists here.
The Department of Telecommunications has divided 22 circles into two geographic zones. Each zone is further broken down into 11 service areas that represent cities within the zone. Zone 1, which covers the northern and western regions, has been given to Syniverse Technologies, while Zone 2 that includes the south and east regions has been awarded to MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions, a 74:26 joint venture between the U.S.-based Telcordia and Deepak Talwar Consultants Pvt. Ltd.However, the fate of Telcordia is not known as the government is yet to take a call on it due to security concerns. These agencies were supposed to roll out MNP pan- India from October 31.

Telcordia Technologies, which has operations in Pakistan, received Foreign Investment Promotion Board ( FIPB) approval for India's MNP project in March last year 2009, but the home ministry revoked its clearance earlier in August on security grounds.
The firm explained that it was only a software vendor for Pakistan operations and had no other business interests there but the Indian authorities have not been convinced. DoT has issued showcause notice to Telcordia asking the reason as to why its licence for MNP should not be cancelled.

There had been hectic lobbying by Indian operators to scuttle MNP. Operators, especially big ones have been dragging their feet on the MNP in India for long in fear of losing existing customers.

Once the MNP is implemented, mobile users can shift to any mobile operator of their choice without changing their mobile numbers by paying a nominal transaction fee about 19 INR. It will take about minimum 2 and maximum 15 days for a user to transfer his mobile number to another operator.The government has now decided to implement it in whole of the country in one go, by 31st Mar 2010.

This Service will start in Haryana from Nov 1, 2010 and will start in remaining circles with in one month. The various companies will start this service on different date . The dates declared by various operators to start mobile number portability are :

Bharti Airtel, Videocon, Loop Mobile.      From 8 November 2010 ..

Aircel, Uninor, Reliance GSM ( Rcom) and Tata Docomo.     From 11 November 2010

BSNL ,MTS, Idea Cellular and BSNL CDMA.       From 14 November 2010

Vodafone Essar, Reliance Mobile (CDMA), Tata indicom.   From 17 November 2010
It is a begining of new era as 3G is also going to start by this Nov 5 by Tata docomo and other telecom operators later this year. Please leave your comments about this article.

Update According to the announcement by DoT, the countrywide launch of MNP services will start from Haryana Licensed Service Area on November 25, 2010. From this date mobile service customers in Haryana will have the option of changing their service provider without changing their mobile numbers.

Customers wishing to exercise the option of changing their service provider without change of number will have to send an SMS  ”PORT followed by Mobile Number” to 1900. Based on this they will get a unique porting code as SMS from the existing service provider. The customer can then make an application in the prescribed form mentioning the code to the selected new service provider for porting of number. A period of 4 days has been prescribed for completion of porting (transfer) of the mobile number to the network of the new service provider.
Accordingly, MNP service in rest of the service areas across the country will be implemented after the launch in Haryana in a phased manner.

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