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100 Mn Mobile Numbers Ported

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It’s a landmark in itself. Forty months after mobile number portability (MNP) was introduced in India in January 2011, 100 million subscribers have ported their number from one operator to another. That’s means on an average almost one out of every nine subscribers has ported their connection to a rival operator.

MNP basically allows telecom subscribers to retain their number when he moves from one service provider to another within the same telecom circle irrespective of technology. All that consumers need to pay is a charge of Rs 19, which is the lowest in the world to port their connections.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) there have been requests from 117 million subscribers to port their numbers from different service providers. The maximum porting requests have come from Karnataka (13.37 million) followed by Rajasthan (11.78 million) and Andhra Pradesh (10.78 million). India has been divided into two regions for MNP. Zone 1 includes the north and west regions while Zone 2 covers the east and South India.

During his inaugural briefing to the media, communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that one of his objectives is to improve the quality of service (QoS) in the sector. One way of monitoring how successful Prasad is will be by to see if MNP requests start falling over the next few months.

However, not all porting requests are acceded to. Consumers need to ensure that they do not have any bills pending with the operator before porting to another operator. In 2011, when mobile porting was introduces, almost 40 per cent of porting requests were rejected by operators. It has since come down to 11 per cent now. This year, Trai has allowed corporate porting too, where mobile numbers taken in the name of a company can be ported if it is duly authorised by the company’s authorised representative.