Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Service in India
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Service means a service which allows subscribers to retain their existing telephone number when they switch from one access provider to another irrespective of mobile technology or from one technology to another of the same or any other service provider.
In its endeavor to give mobile phone users the ability to change operators while retaining their existing numbers, the Department of Telecom (DoT) will launch the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service in the country’s four metros and some other cities in September this year.
Issuing a notification about the new facility, DoT elaborated: "Mobile Number Portability is to be implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat Service areas of Zone I and Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra and Karnataka of Zone 2 within six months of award of license by September 20, 2009, and in the rest of the country by March 20, 2010."
For effective implementation of the proposed MNP service, the DoT has issued licenses to two companies, namely - Syniverse Technologies for Zone 1; and MNP Interconnection for Zone 2 areas.
In its release, the DoT has mandated that the licensed companies undertake a timely execution of the MNP service in their particular service areas, by way of upgrading, operating and maintaining MNP-supporting networks and services at their own costs.
The DoT said that the tariffs associated with the MNP service, like the transaction charges, will be decided by TRAI - the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India – which is reportedly considering number portability charges below Rs 300, and a maximum two days’ swap time for shifting service providers.