Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mobile number portability delayed again; Oct 31 is new deadline

The implementation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been delayed again. The Government on Wednesday said that the deadline for introducing the facility has been extended to October 31. The system was supposed to be introduced on Wednesday .

“The Government has taken the decision after reviewing the readiness of the various access/international long distance service providers and keeping in view the complexity and enormity of the testing involved before MNP is implemented,” said a statement. MNP allows subscribers to change their mobile operator without having to change the number.

This is fourth time that the Government is extending the deadline. Earlier, MNP was likely to be implemented in a phased manner in the first phase by December 31, 2009, in metro cities and Category ‘A' Service Areas and in the rest of the country thereafter by March 2010.

Extending time line for MNP implementation, the Government later decided to implement it in whole of the country in one go by March 31, 2010. Keeping in view the status of readiness of various stakeholders, the launch of Mobile Portability Services was extended to June 30, 2010.
Despite repeated extension of deadlines over the past one year, so far only 14 per cent of the mobile networks across the country are ready for the introduction of MNP. On an all India basis, only about 14 per cent testing has been completed and 36 per cent is in progress. In 50 per cent of the networks, testing is yet to be done.


While the private players are slow with the testing, state-run BSNL and MTNL have not even set up MNP gateways. BSNL has assured that it will set up all the gateways by July 18, after which it will start the testing process. But MTNL has not even issued the purchase order for the gateways. MNP cannot be implemented until all the operators networks have been upgraded and tested.


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