The full mobile number portability (MNP), which kicked off today, will “empower people”, increase competition among telecom operators and improve services, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Full MNP will enable subscribers to transfer their mobile numbers to any new city or locality across the country and use it as local number from today. So far, the facility was available only within a telecom circle or service area. The national MNP service, the earlier deadline for which was May 3 but got extended by two months as service providers were not ready, will also allow subscribers to change their operators without changing their numbers.
“Full mobile number portability has started from today. If a person moves from one state to another, he can keep the number with him. I would like to tell this to people of our country that from today you are the owner of your mobile number and wherever you will go your number will go with you,” Prasad said on the sidelines of a BSNL event.
All operators — Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance Communications, Uninor, Videocon, MTS, Tata Docomo, state-run MTNL and BSNL — have announced the MNP roll out. With this facility, a mobile subscriber will not have to pay roaming charges once the number gets transferred to another telecom circle or state under the scheme. It will be treated as local number of that area. Roaming charges will apply, however, while travelling outside the new telecom circle or area.
“It is proud moment for Indian Telecom Industry on the successful implementation of nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) from today by the combined effort of the Ministry of Communication, TRAI and the Telecom Industry. We would also like to thank Department of Telecommunication, Government of India for their support that expedite the implementation in a smooth manner to bring to the mobile users, the convenience of changing their service provide, while moving between States without, having to change their mobile numbers,” said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI.
A telecom circle in some cases is equivalent to size of a state like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab. In other cases, circle includes two of more states like MP circle includes Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Prasad said that this service will empower people and enhance competition among mobile service providers pushing them to offer better service. “I decided in November to start this service in six months. It was to start in May but telecom operators sought some time. It was then decided to start service from today and I happy that it has started,” Prasad said.
“Implementation of Pan-India mobile number portability services has been one of the important points of the National Telecom Policy 2012. After culmination of network and IT upgradation followed by comprehensive call flow and process flow testing involving more than 175 networks across the 22 Licenced Service Areas, Industry has successfully accomplished this complex and mammoth mission to ensure enhanced customer satisfaction and competition in the Indian market,” according to COAI.