There's good news for close to 870 million subscribers of mobile phones.
Following Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's recommendations issued on Wednesday that full mobile number portability (MNP) should be implemented throughout the country within six months, users will soon be allowed to retain their numbers even when they shift from one service area to another.
However, you will still have to pay roaming charges if you travel outside your home circle. Operators earn about 10% of their revenues from roaming charges.
At present, MNP is limited to a circle. For example, a subscriber in Delhi can change his operator while retaining his number. However, in case he relocates to another state, he has to change his number. If full MNP is implemented, a subscriber can retain his number even if he shifts to another circle and migrates to any operator.
The regulator wants full MNP to be implemented within six months. "Telecom service providers (TSP) may be given six months time to implement full MNP in the country," TRAI said in its recommendations submitted to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The Telecom Commission will take the final decision. Once it approves, it will be implemented thoughout the country.
"Full MNP will also force operators to improve quality of services," said BK Syngal, former CMD of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).
The regulator also said that once full MNP is in place, subscribers should be educated to dial numbers in the '+91' format.