India’s telecom regulator, has released the recommendations for Pan-India Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Which means, telecom subscribers will be able to port their number out to any other operator even if it is in a different service area.
Currently MNP facility is restricted to within a local service area. A user wanting to port outside a LSA has to get a new mobile number, or cough up roaming charges. Once pan India Mobile Number Portability is introduced, subscribers can change from one LSA to another without having to change his mobile number.
Some key highlights from the recommendation
Telecom service providers will be given 6 months time for implementations of full MNP.
Testing Fee for testing the various scenarios in Full MNP may be reduced to 25% of the current prescribed Fee for Telecom Service Providers’ (TSP) and Mobile Number Portability Service Providers’ Permits(MNSPSP).
In India the first pilot project for MNP was launched in Haryana Local Service Area(LSA) in November 2010. The pilot project spread to the rest of the country by end of January 2011.
Some key challenges for implementation of Pan-india MNP
How the request of the subscriber for porting will be processed by the Donor Operator, Recipient Operator and MNPSPs.
What changes are required in Number Portability Gateway(NPG) of the operator and operator’s IT systems etc.
How much time will be required to complete the modifications in the existing systems of the operators.
In September 2012 Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had said that mobile phone subscribers will not have to pay roaming charges from 2013. Back then the telecom department was also working on the unified licence guidelines as a part of the National Telecom Policy 2012. The idea was to have full mobile number portability and free nationwide roaming by 2013.
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