A couple of days back we had told you that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was launched for the first time in India in the state of Haryana. Well, it seems that users all the initial wave that was generated by MNP has now slowed down and the figures say that most cellphone users in Haryana are not highly interested to switch to MNP.
Around 30,000- 35,000 customers in Haryana have requested to change their cellular operator. This number happens to be less than 1% of the 17 million strong consumer base in Haryana. Now the operators have started believing that at this rate, only less than 1.5 per cent of the subscriber base will opt for MNP in the next two months.
Operators have revealed that post-paid subscribers are more likely to request for a change in their operators via MNP and just two to three per cent of the porting requests which are coming from post-paid subscribers, who happen to be only three per cent of Haryana’s subscribers base.
After much fuss over Mobile Number Portability in India, the Indian Govt. finally begun the service in India starting from Haryana. At the launch event, the Communications and IT Minister of India, Mr Kapil Sibal said that the entire country would get Mobile Number Portability (MNP) from January 20, 2011.
- The Union Minister for HRD, Telecom & IT, Mr Kapil Sibal (left) at the launch of mobile number portability at Rohtak in Haryana
Rohtak in Haryana became the first Indian city to get Mobile Number Portability. The Secretary of Department of Telecom told the media that MNP will intensify the competition among service providers both in respect of quantity of services and quality of service as well as in terms of tariff. He also said that the DoT is working with Mobile operators to put the system in place over the next two months.
Telecom Operators are very happy that MNP has finally been launched in India as they feel this would provide the freedom of choice to consumers and would promote fair and effective competition in the market. However it seems that not all Indian subscribers want MNP. A study a Colombo-based ICT firm revealed that 26 per cent of Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) mobile subscribers in India would definitely not consider switching even to a cheaper package which indicates some kind of operator loyalty being present among them.
Mobile Number Portability is one of those things which Indian mobile users have been waiting for since eons now; the other being the launch of 3G services. The launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been delayed many times in the past year, but now it seems that MNP may finally be a reality in India.
Mr. J. S. Sharma, Chairman of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), announced today that all mobile operators will have to enable MNP by October 31. The DOT (Department of Telecom) also said that all operators must ensure that their networks support MNP by September 1; failing which they won’t be allowed to launch any new services.
Reportedly, BSNL and MTNL’s networks are already MNP-ready and other major operators will also have to comply with MNP requirements by September 1.
Mobile Number Portability allows you to change their operator without changing their number. With the launch of MNP, operator services are expected to improve as consumers will be free to shift to any operator offering better service. Hopefully, this time around, we will actually get it.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is finally showing some resolve in rolling out a much anticipated service nationwide. TRAI Chairman J S Sarma announced yesterday that mobile number portability (MNP) will be implemented nationwide from October 31 without any further delay. MNP is a service that allows a mobile user to change his operator while retaining the number. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has instructed all the operators to ensure that all inter-operator tests for porting the numbers from one provider to another should be completed before September 1, 2010. To be strict with their decision, the department has even made it clear to all operators that in case they fail to meet the scheduled deadline, they will not be allowed to launch any new commercial services from September 1.
BSNL and MTNL have already ensured that they are equipped with the infrastructure to launch the MNP service. The MNP was scheduled to be implemented by December 31, 2009 but the deadline was then changed to March 31, 2010 and thereafter to June 30, 2010 as the operators were not yet ready with the infrastructure to implement the service.
Last time we blogged stating that operators are ready for the Mobile Number portability (MNP) to be implemented by March 2010 , but it looks like that isn’t true anymore. This time it is BSNL to be blamed for the delay.
“We have asked mobile operators to stick to the March 31, 2010 deadline for rolling out the MNP and we are confident that the March 31, 2010 deadline would be met by them. We will continue to review their preparedness,” Telecom Secretary P J Thomas told PTI.
“We got security clearance for MNP gateway only in February 3 which cause a two-month delay in our preparedness. We have issued the advanced purchase order but supply of equipment, installation and testing would take time till mid-May.. March 31 deadline looks difficult as fas as we are concerned”, BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal told PTI.
The MNP was to be implemented by 31st December 2009, but it was delayed until March 2010 because the operators weren’t ready. We can safely comment that nothing in Telecom industry in India can be achieved without delay.
If you remember, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was to be introduced back in December 31st, 09 but that didn’t happen cause the operators weren’t ready technologically back then. The deadline was then extended to 31st March and now state owned telecom operators BSNL and MTNL are ready to meet the deadline. If you turned in late, MNP allows users to change their service provider without having to change their number.
Trai has fixed Rs 19 as the charge to be paid by a subscriber to avail the MNP service. The whole process of shifting from one operator to another would take a maximum of four days and you cannot shift between operators within four months after the first MNP shift. This is quite useful considering Google Voice is yet not available in India, which is a free service. Google Voice, allows users to add multiple number to Google account and all you need to do is give out your Google number to people. So, it wouldn’t matter if you change your service provider the next time, just log in to your Google account and change number. People would still be able to reach you at your Google number. Pretty neat. But that gets a bit technical for average people in India.
Currently, we have seen the call rates war between the operators and that’s just about to get more intense with introduction of MNP.