You will be able to retain your mobile number even if you move permanently to another state and switch to another telecom service provider.
Current rules allow you to retain your mobile number if you change your telecom service provider within the state you live in. This is known as mobile number portability (MNP). “Inter-state (or national) MNP will be available by May,” a senior official in the communications ministry said. The department of telecommunications (DoT) is finalising the details of the scheme.
“It will help students and young professionals who often move from one city to another and those in transferable jobs,” said Sanjay Kapoor, former CEO, Bharti Airtel. Mobile phone numbers are often used as an identity tool for bank, credit card and other transactions.
“National MNP will end the cost of roaming that subscribers now have to pay (if they retain their numbers in a new city). It will also force operators to offer better tariff plans and improve service quality,” said Arvind Bali, chief executive, Videocon Telecom.
To start with, it will take two days to change your telecom service provider. The senior communications ministry official said: “We have told operators to do it in 12 hours by the end of the first year and less than four hours by the end of second year.” MNP within the same state currently costs Rs. 19 per number and takes three to seven days.
Since January 20, 2011, when MNP was introduced, only 2.5 million users out of India’s total subscriber base of more than 900 million have opted to port their numbers.