Cellular service operators are finally ready to roll out mobile number portability (MNP) across the country from January 20.
At least five major service providers have confirmed the roll out of services by next week.
The deadline for introducing MNP services was delayed a number of times since 2009.
According to the service providers, a subscriber can now switch over to other operators while retaining his number at a nominal cost. The MNP services have, so far, been launched only in Haryana.
“We are preparing for the launch ceremony on January 20,” a senior official in the Department of Telecom in New Delhi told Business Line.
Vodafone Essar – which has recently launched advertisement campaigns for MNP services – affirmed their readiness to launch MNP services. Mr Samaresh Parida, Director (Strategy), Vodafone Essar, said: “We have invested in our network quality and customer care in a big way and are ready with the technology to enable portability.”
A spokesperson of the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications strongly advocated for introduction of MNP regime.
The company is geared up to launch MNP beginning next week.
However, the company did not clarify its readiness on both the GSM and CDMA front.
Tata Teleservices, which also has GSM and CDMA services, said that both of its platforms were ready to offer number portability.
Aditya Birla-controlled Idea Cellular, which had been the first to air MNP advertisements, confirmed that it was ready for launch of the service on a pan-India basis. “DoT has announced the all-India launch of MNP on 20 January, 2011. The service will be available in Kolkata and West Bengal also from that day,” the company spokesperson added.
In order to switchover to another network, the subscriber, irrespective of having pre-paid or post-paid connection, needs to send an SMS to 1900. Based on it, he will get a unique porting code from the existing service provider.
He will be required to fill in an application in the prescribed form mentioning the code to the selected new service provider for transferring his number.
A subscriber is likely to be charged Rs 19 as processing fee and once he has switched over, the subscriber has to remain in that network for at least 90 days before making a move to another network.