IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has informed that Reliance Communications (RCom), Tata Teleservices and Aircel are among the top net losers of subscribers under mobile number portability (MNP) services to Lok Sabha.
Idea Cellular has been the biggest net gainer of mobile subscribers through MNP service, as per data till October, 2014 presented in the Lok Sabha by the minister.
“The public sector companies, i.e. BSNL and MTNL have not lost the maximum number of subscribers cumulatively since the launch of MNP in the country,” Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha members.
“RCom net loss of subscribers stood over 78 lakhs as on October 30, 2014, Tata Teleservices 53 lakhs and Aircel over 36 lakh net subscribers– which is more than that of BSNL and MTNL. BSNL net loss of subscribers was over 22 lakh and MTNL lost over 2.7 lakh customers,” it said.
On the other hand, MTNL, however, lost about 4 times more number of customers than it gained. Only four operators have gained subscribers through MNP– Idea, Airtel , Vodafone and RCom subsidiary Reliance Telecom.
In the meantime, Idea net gain of subscribers at the end of October 2014 stood at over 1.25 crore, Vodafone gained over 1.04 crore, Airtel 50 lakh and Reliance Telecom over 3.84 lakh subscribers, as per the official.
Government of India has asked telecom firms to implement full mobile number portability (MNP) by May 3 2015.
For this, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has given its approval to the introduction of full mobile number portability and has asked mobile operators to implement it by May 3. Under the full MNP, for instance, a subscriber in Delhi NCR will be able to switch to a telecom network in Tamil Nadu or in any of the state or place where he is relocating himself/herself while retaining the same number.
At present, number portability allows users to retain phone numbers only within the same circle. For example, if an Airtel user in Delhi relocates to Chennai, he cannot retain the phone number. This will change once the full MNP is introduced.
In the mean time, just about 110.8 million, or 12 per cent, of the 924 million mobile users in India use roaming services and the people who relocate is about a tenth of these. Nationwide mobile number portability will benefit only these 11 million users initially. MNP, first introduced in 2010 and restricted to within telecom zones, did not attract much attention. Only 13.96 per cent of the total cellular user base, or 129 million people, have ported their numbers so far.
India has 22 circles or telecom zones. Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions provide MNP service to all carriers in the present setup.