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India Launches Full Nationwide Mobile Number Portability

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Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has finally, after many delays, been launched across India today. The launch of the nationwide service was staged by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh making an inaugural call to Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Communications & IT from a ported number.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Kapil Sibal said that though India has introduced Mobile Number Portability relatively late compared other developed countries but at the same time it has done so by adopting latest technologies and methodology. He further stated that seeing the size of the country, number of subscribers & their growth rate and the number of operators per Licensed Service Area, there will be hardly any country with a network of so much complexity where MNP has been implemented.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Service will allow subscribers to retain their existing Mobile Telephone Number even when they switch from one access service provider to another irrespective of mobile technology or from one technology to another technology of the same or any other access service provider within the same service area.

The MNP Service was initially launched in Haryana last November, which served as a pilot and helped resolve all problems in the countrywide implementation. Subsequently, a phase-wise migration plan of networks in all the other Service Areas was worked out by Department of Telecom in coordination with the mobile networks.

From today mobile subscribers in all service areas across the country have the choice of selecting their telecom service provider within the Licensed Service Area without changing their number provided a minimum period of 90 days has elapsed after subscription to the mobile service of the current service provider. For availing this facility the subscriber has to generate a unique porting code (UPC) by sending an SMS (PORT Mobile number) to 1900. With this UPC, the subscriber has to do all the formalities of registering as a new subscriber and present the UPC to the new service provider.

In Jammu and Kashmir though, the pre-paid subscriber shall call to 1900 and get the UPC from the operator.

Porting has to be completed within 7 working days except for J&K, Assam and North East Service Areas where 15 days time has been prescribed. TRAI has put a ceiling of Rs. 19/- on porting charges which the new service provider may collect from the subscriber. Post-paid subscribers before making the porting request, have to make sure that their last bill has been paid failing which the request for change to a new service provider shall be rejected. In the case of pre-paid subscriber any balance amount left will not be carried forward when the number is transferred to the new service provider.

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Tags: mobile number portability  mnp  telecom  kapil sibal  haryana  India