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.