Mobile number portability to be launched in Nov: Govt | india | Hindustan Times
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Mobile number portability to be launched in Nov: Govt

india Updated: Oct 27, 2010 16:47 IST
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India's interior ministry will decide if Blackberry maker Research In Motion <RIM.TO> needs to be given more time to provide security agencies access to its messenger and e-mail communication, the telecoms minister said.

As part of a broader electronic security crackdown, the government is demanding access to intercept communications sent through highly secure BlackBerry devices of Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion.

Officials have said Google and Skype would also be sent notices to set up local servers to allow full monitoring of email and messenger communications.

India, which had threatened RIM with a ban if denied access to the data, gave a 60-day reprieve to the company at the end of August after being offered a solution to access some BlackBerry data, a move yet to be confirmed by the Canadian firm.

"If necessary, it will be considered by the home ministry," Communications Minister Andimuthu Raja told reporters on Tuesday, when asked if the government would be giving another extension to Research In Motion.

RIM has been in dispute this year with a number of countries in the Gulf and elsewhere over its encrypted email and messaging services, which governments want monitored.

The United Arab Emirates has dropped a threat to suspend BlackBerry services after resolving a dispute with Research in Motion, the state news agency said earlier this month.

Separately, Raja said the mobile number portability would be partially launched from Nov 1, and it would be operationalised in 11 of India's 22 mobile circles by the third week of the month.

Mobile number portability, which allows users to retain their number even if they switch operators, was to be introduced in all telecoms zones by March 31.

At the end of March, the government said the MNP launch would be delayed to end-May due to security reasons and later extended the deadline to end-June.

India is the world's fastest-growing market by wireless user additions, with monthly sign-ups averaging about 18 million. However, nearly 90 percent of the carriers' revenue is from voice services, which offer lower margins than data services.