Pan India Mobile Number Portability (MNP) coming by April next year : TRAI

TRAI has today recommended implementation of PAN India Mobile Number Portability within the next 6 months. Once implemented it would help customers to change their Service Provider (operator) when they are moving to a new circle from their existing circle.

As of now MNP is available only within the circle, for eg. an Idea customer in Delhi can switch to any telecom operator of his choice within Delhi only. If he moves to Mumbai, he cannot swtich to any operator there and has to bear high Roaming Charges or he simply buys a Local SIM in Mumbai to save the Roaming Cost on Delhi Number. But by April next year, when Pan India MNP would be implemented (expected) the same Idea customer in Delhi who moved to Mumbai would be able to change his operator to, say Loop Mobile (and others as per his choice) after paying a nominal fees.

Also as per the TRAI mandate, a customer can even move to an operator who is not present in his original circle. Like in the previous case, Loop Mobile is not present in Delhi but has full service in Mumbai. So the Idea customer from Delhi can move to Loop Mobile in Mumbai with ease. This would help regional players like Uninor and Videocon to get more customers on board.

TRAI had earlier this year floated consultation paper regarding implementation of Pan India Mobile Number Portability. Most of the operators were of the view that very less number of customer (out of the total customer base) move from one circle to another and to implement such measure (Pan India MNP) it would require interconnection between the two MNP provider in India, which would eventually make it a cumbersome and expensive process.

In India there are 2 MNP providers – Syniverse Technologies for North & West zone comprising Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat and seven other circles and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions for South & East India which includes Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh circle too. With the TRAI’s formula for implementing MNP nationwide, once a request to port is received by an operator, the same is forwarded to the concerned MNP Provider. And all future Porting request from the same customer would be handled by the same MNP Provider in the future irrespective of the circle.

For eg. If a Idea customer in Punjab gives a porting request to move to Uninor in Andhra Pradesh, Idea would forward the request to Syniverse Technologies . Once the MNP is done and the same customer who moved to Uninor AP now wants to move to Vodafone Andhra Pradesh, now Vodafone would forward the MNP request to Syniverse Technologies again rather than the regular MNP service provider of the circle, MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions. Under this mechanism, there is no need for inter connection between the 2 MNP provider in India and thus helps in minimising the costs for installing PAN India MNP systems etc.

In India, MNP was first allowed staring January, 2011 and as per the latest figures issued by TRAI almost 100 million customers have changed their service provider till now. Nation wide MNP would help incumbent operators like Idea, Vodafone & Airtel that have done really well in circle only MNP till now.

So if you are the one waiting for PAN India MNP to retain your number, just wish that these recommendations are accepted at the earliest by Department of Telecom (DoT).

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