The Indian government is looking to rollout Pan India Mobile Number Portability by October 2013. Under the ‘National Telecom Policy 2012’, the policies to govern the telecom industry, the government had envisaged implementing nation-wide MNP, or inter-circle MNP. Implementation of MNP will provide wider choices to the subscribers, apart from bringing in a higher degree of competition in the industry as it would compel operators to provide affordable and competitive tariffs, NTP document said.
TRAI, in its pre-consultation paper, had sought inputs from stakeholders on tariff for national roaming services including cost components of call rates to be considered, the manner of cost recovery in case incoming calls are to be made free, the tariff for video calls and SMS while roaming, need for permitting special tariff vouchers for roaming customers.
At present, service providers pay various charges such as termination and interconnect charges for calls to other networks, which is finally billed to the customer. India, which has 22 circles, had rolled out MNP within circles in early 2011 that permits a user to switch to a different operator while retaining the same phone number.
India was expected to rollout nation-wide by February this year (2013). Along with nation-wide MNP, the government is also looking at abolishing roaming charges.