By Vijay C Roy
New Delhi: Having released the pre-consultation paper on Nationwide Mobile Number Portability last week, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) expects to roll out nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the next 4-5 months, which would allow users to retain their numbers even if they move from one state to another. Currently, users are allowed to switch to a different operator within his/her circle, while retaining the same phone number.
"We have recently released pre- consultation paper on nationwide mobile number portability for feedback from stakeholders, the deadline for which expires on March 7, 2013. If everything goes well we expects to roll out nationwide mobile number portability in next 4-5 months," said K Ramchand, principal advisor, TRAI, while speaking to Business Standard. He was in the city to address telecom consumers outreach programme. He added that it is on the telecom department's agenda.
It is worth mentioning that earlier, Telecom minister Kapil Sibal set a February 2013 deadline for nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP), but could not be implemented due to certain issues.
Currently, a user is allowed to switch to a different operator within his/her circle, while retaining his/her phone number. According to him, till date around 50 million subscribers have ported their numbers. Under NTP 2012, the government had envisaged implementing MNP on a nationwide level allowing users to retain their mobile numbers even when they shift to a different telecom circle. India has 22 telecom circles.