Mobile Number Portability might finally launch on November 25th, or not

Mobile Number Portability is expected to release starting November 25th but there is news that 3 key GSM payers are asking for more time.
Written by Manan Kakkar, Contributor

The elusive mobile number portability might finally roll out starting November 25th. Having said that if it were delayed  once more I wouldn't be surprised. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) said that the service will begin roll out in Harayana (in North India) on the 25th of November. The reason for the delay and three missed deadline is partly infrastructure and partly the lack of willingness from the service providers.

The roll out of the service will be done in phases with the 22 telecomm circles being divided into two geographical zones which are further divided to represent cities within the zones. Sachin Pilot (Minister of State for Communications and Information and Technology) said, “The MNP will make the mobile sector more competitive as companies will be forced to upgrade and improve their services leading to more benefits for customers in terms of both quality of service and its cost-effectiveness.” On the delay of the launch he sighted the rapid growth of the mobile sector and avoiding any technical glitches as reasons.

The service was expected to start on November 1st but was delayed to November 25th. COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said, "All the intra-circles will be competed by November 30. Inter-circle for Haryana will also be completed. So the next phase is inter-circle, that is circle-to-circle. That will commence on December 1." COAI Cellular Operators' Association of India.

Adding confusion to the release date, there is news that the GSM operators have requested the government to push the delay across the country further to January, 2011. CDMA and the new GSM operators say they are ready to roll out the service. Mr S.C. Khanna from the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, said: “Only the incumbent GSM operators have an issue. All the CDMA and new GSM operators are ready to start MNP by December. DoT should go ahead with it.”

Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular are said to  be the ones who’ve asked the government for the extension. The service not being started in the metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore seems to be a compromise reached to get the service rolling at the same time appeasing the big GSM players.

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