Good news for mobile telephone subscribers. From June 2009, they will be able to change their service providers, while retaining their telephone numbers. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today invited bids for providing mobile number portability services.
Number portability will finally turn consumers into kings, as it allows them to move from one operator to another — without changing their numbers. In the absence of number portability, a large number of subscribers stick to their operators even if they are not satisfied with the services because of the hassles involved in changing the number.
“Mobile number portability will be available in the four metros by June 2009,” union communications and IT minister A Raja told reporters. During phase one of the project, number portability will be available in the four metros -— Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. It will then be extended to other cities.
Number portability will also benefit new operators which do not have any subscriber-base. DoT has awarded licences for GSM mobile services to five new players — Reliance, Tata, Datacom, Shyam Sistema, and Unitech. Idea has also been issued licence to operate GSM mobile services in 12 new circles.
Consumers will have more choice in terms of service providers as well as the option to migrate to other operators.