Both BSNL and MTNL are set to miss the mobile number portability (MNP) deadline of December 31.
The state-run telcos have informed the government that they will not be able to implement the system before April for a variety of reasons such as lack of time to tweak the technology, tariff plans and billing among others.
The government had set a December 31 deadline for implementing the MNP regime for the metros and June 2010 for the non-metros.
Last week Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the MNP--the facility that allows customers to change their operator but retain their mobile number--would be implemented ‘early next year’. It is expected that MNP will force operators to improve the quality of their services.
Sectoral regulator TRAI chairman J S Sarma said the operators should try to implement the facility within the deadline lest they be labelled as anti-consumer.
At a recent meeting chaired by the DoT secretary on MNP, both MTNL and BSNL had said they would not be ready to offer the facility before April.
Following this, the DoT set up a coordination committee with BSNL and MTNL and two MNP service providers-- MITS and Synverse so that the proposal will not be derailed.