Monday, June 14, 2010

Number portability to trigger next round of price war

Mobile Number Portability could unleash the next price war amongst telecom operators that would eventually benefit the end customer, say analysts.

Mobile number portability is a service that enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. This reduces the barriers for people to move from one network to another, thus leveling the playing field for new entries into the mobile phone network service provider industry.

The wireless industry has undergone a great deal of change with respect to pricing after the introduction of a plethora of players over the last one year or so.

Analysts believe what has been served is just a preview to the real war. The gloves are really off with the introduction of mobile number portability. All this while operators could sit back and relax once they acquired a new customer. They had the advantage of an inherent barrier as customers were reluctant to switch between networks due to the effort of recreating their social network on their new numbers.

The number portability is likely to be introduced in India from 1 July 2010. While mobile number portability has existed in countries such as the UK, Germany, Hong Kong and the Unites States since the turn of this century, it has been introduced more recently in other South East Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan.

Research findings point out that the most appropriate time to introduce MNP services is when the mobile penetration is high and new service providers are entering into the market. All these conditions seem to be making it a perfect storm for the portability service to be availed in India.

There have been a lot of reports that suggesting that mobile number portability is an urban, post-paid concept. To the contrary, In India, I wouldn’t b e surprised if it’s just the opposite.  It is a fallacy to expect only metros and post-paid customers to use number portability.

Source: NDTV Profit


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