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India Finally Getting Mobile Number Portability

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India started the long delayed rollout of mobile number portability (MNP) as the service was launched in Rohtak, Haryana by Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Sibal announced that this service will be expanded to the entire country on January 20th, 2011. As continued efforts of the Government to increase competition in the market and to provide wider choice to customer, Mobile Number Portability will be an important step.

The networks in all the remaining 21 Licensed Service Areas have started migration for working in the MNP environment. For orderly technical migration of complex interconnected networks, each of the remaining service areas will be migrated one by one on alternate days. This will enable simultaneous validation of technical parameters and removal of any problems arising from migration activity to ensure successful and smooth migration of a service area. Migration activities will not take place during the festival season at the end of December, 2010.

The Department of Telecommunications Secretary, Shri R. Chandrashekhar said on the occasion that this facility 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.

The DoT guidelines created geographical division of the country into two Number Portability Zones, each consisting of 11 licensed service areas. Subsequently, one operator in each zone was selected. Syniverse Technologies was granted licence for operating in Northern and Western India and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions was granted licence for Eastern and Southern India.

According to a Nielsen survey last year, it seems that close to one in five (18%) Indian mobile phone subscribers could change their mobile operator when Mobile Number Portability is introduced into the market.

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Tags: mobile number portability  mnp  telcordia  telecom  syniverse technologies  haryana  India