New Delhi: The telecom department has approved full mobile number portability (MNP), which will be implemented by March next year, in a move that will benefit a large number of consumers who will be able to retain their cell phones when they relocate to another part of the country.
Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body in the telecom department, on Wednesday took the major step towards clearing the one-nation, one-number plan with full MNP aimed at simplifying mobile telephony for all.
“The Telecom Commission has accepted TRAI’s ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations on full MNP,” a senior government official said, adding that the process will be expedited to meet the deadline. The telecom minister is expected to issue a final approval on full MNP implementation in the coming weeks.
MNP allows mobile users to keep the same mobile number when they change circles or even change operators when moving to another service area. India is divided into 22 such telecom service areas, also called circles, with most of them reflecting a state, but some, like UP, is divided into UP (East) and UP (West).
At present, this facility is limited to within the same service area only, which means that a customer in the Delhi service area can change his service provider from Airtel to Idea or Vodafone, without having to change his number.
If this subscriber moves to another circle, for instance Mumbai, he needs to acquire a separate Mumbai mobile number, else pay roaming charges, which are higher than the average call tariff.