Nation-wide Mobile Number Portability (MNP) seems to get delayed further to July, with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asking the operators to make some technical changes. “The changes could take about eight weeks to complete”, Cellular Operators Association of India (CAOI) said. COAI is planning to write to DoT on the same.
DoT’s new amendment on National Numbering Plan (NNP) will allocate mobile numbers to telecom operators and telecom circles, with the initial digits of the numbers indicating the telecom circle. For the set amendment to furnish, the telecom operators are required to configure and route mobile switches across the country.
According to COAI Director General Rajan S. Mathews, this configuration, routing and the subsequent testing will take a minimum of eight weeks. “We got this order a couple of days back by sub-committee formed to look in to implementation of full MNP. Testing will be done simultaneously as we make changes in networks. We have asked our members to give us clear timelines by when they will comply with the new order,” Mr. Mathews added.
Operators have pointed out the following issues with implementing full MNP:
Currently, STD numbers can only be dialed by adding either ‘0’ or ‘+91? as the prefix. Post full MNP the dialling pattern would be simplified and both STD and local numbers can be dialed with or without any prefix. Post full MNP, call forwarding should be opened for all type of operators, within and outside the service areas.
A full MNP will facilitate the subscribers to maintain their mobile numbers even during the shifts to other telecom circles. Adding to the issues of implementing full MNP, TRAI amended the MNP regulation by February 25. Added to this delay, which COAI had earlier notified to DoT, this new development on NNP will act as another hurdle. The decision of Government, which rejected its earlier request to extend the date is yet to be seen.