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Portable mobile numbers delayed

india Updated: Jul 23, 2009 21:22 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times
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If you are fed up with your mobile operator and were waiting for September, the promised date from which you can change your operator while retaining your telephone number, there is bad news. Now you will have to wait longer.

The government is set to miss its September 20 deadline to implement the mobile number portability (MNP) plan by about three months as the modalities have not been finalised.

“MNP is happening for the first time in India. The regulator is formulating norms for MNP and this may take two to three months,” Siddharth Behura, secretary of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) told Hindustan Times.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is due to meet telecom service providers and consumer groups at an open-house session next Monday to get their feedback on various issues relating to the MNP including charges that a customer would pay to switch operators.

DoT had announced that MNP would be implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra and Karnataka by September 20 and elsewhere in the country March 20 next year. It had also introduced two MNP managers — Syniverse and Telcordia-backed MNP Interconnect.

Earlier, large firms like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone had opposed the MNP plan fearing a flight of subscribers. “We are supporting the DoT in implementing MNP,” said TV Ramachandran, director general of cellular operators association of India.