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Mobile Number Portability
India passed 45 million mobile portings

2012-06-28 07:52:40

The Economic Times informs: The total number of subscribers opting for mobile number portability (MNP) has risen to 45.89 million, with Karnataka receiving the maximum number of 5.11 million requests till the end of April, according to official data released Wednesday. MNP allows users to switch operators while retaining their mobile numbers. "By the end of April 2012, about 45.89 million subscribers have submitted their requests to different service providers for porting their mobile number," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI) said in a statement. Karnataka was followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat where 4.44 million and 4.23 million subscribers opted for the service. MNP was implemented across the country last January while the pilot launch of the service took place in Haryana Nov 25, 2010. To opt for MNP, a customer has to pay a maximum of Rs.19 to the new operator for 'porting' the number and remain with the new operator for at least three months. The customer has to send an SMS from the existing phone to 1900. A unique porting code is sent by the existing provider. An application then has to be filed with the new service provider mentioning the code for transferring the connection. India currently has over 920 million mobile phone subscribers.

 

Mobile Number Portability
Costa Rica expects MNP by the end of 2012

2012-06-14 15:17:33

Inside Costa Rica informs: The opening of the telecommunications market in Costa Rica, specifically the cellular telephone sector, left many having to carry more than one cell phone due to the lack of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). With Mobile number portability (MNP), mobile telephone users retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. Currently in Costa Rica if you want to change operator it will be mean having to give up your number. Since for more than a decade the state telecom, ICE, was the only wireless service provider, many customers have had the same number for years and find it difficult to switch due to the lack of number portability. Responsible for the allowing of portability is the government telecom regulator, the SUTEL, which says by August it will have the list of conditions for the changes and the winning bidder will then have three months to put the system in operation. The list of conditions is expected that it will allow companies to charge their customer to recover the costs they incur in porting. In the Americas only a small number of countries allow mobile number portability: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, US and Panama. In Chile MNP was implemented at the beginning of this year, while in Colombia and Panama, for instance late last year. The time to port can be almost in minutes as in the case of the Canada and hours as in the US and Chile, it could be days, up to 12 in Mexico, for instance.

 

Mobile Number Portability
Qatar seeks to introduce mobile number portability (MNP) by the end of 2012

2012-06-08 10:37:39

Arabian business.com informs: Mobile customers in Qatar will soon be able to keep their phone numbers if they switch operators after it was reported mobile number portability will be introduced to the Gulf state within six months. The country’s two telecom providers – Qtel and Vodafone – are working with regulator ictQATAR to introduce mobile number portability (MNP) by the end of the year in a bid to increase competition in the sector, it was reported by Gulf Times newspaper. Many countries in the Gulf are pushing for MNP. In the UAE it has been delayed several times, with operators Etisalat and du missing the most recent deadline of September 2011. "We were testing. In the testing phase certain technical issues can appear. We are just evaluating how long it will take," said Osman Sultan, du's CEO. Number portability would allow customers of du and Etisalat to switch providers and keep the same phone number. The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) had said portability would be available by mid-2008. The TRA has been taking steps to boost competition in the UAE, considered the second-least competitive in the MENA region after Qatar, according to Nomura. "Number portability in Oman and Saudi Arabia didn't have much impact on customer churn between operators and the same is likely to happen in the UAE," said Diala Hoteit, NBK Capital telecoms analyst. "It will increase the level of competition, with operators more likely to match each other's offers, but in this region most people have more than one SIM card... so not many would permanently switch operator if number portability was introduced." An infrastructure sharing deal so operators can compete in fixed line services is slated to be introduced by year-end, but has already been delayed. Last week, du said TV would not be part of the initial agreement. Both operators already offer landline telephone, broadband and internet TV, but not in the same districts.

 

Mobile Number Portability
New telecom policy allows mobile number portability in India

2012-06-01 17:32:27

India today informs: The Cabinet on Thursday approved the new National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012, which aims to abolish roaming charges across the country and facilitate nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) for mobile phone users. Under the new policy, the government plans to remove roaming fees and allow users to retain their numbers even if they move from one circle or zone to another. "By allowing mobile subscribers to use the same number across the country without having to pay extra charges, the target is one-nation-one-number with free roaming," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting. However, consumers will have to wait for some time before roaming charges are abolished and the one-number-orientation concept is implemented as the department of telecom (DoT) will first have to work out the modalities. Telecom companies will lose almost 10 per cent of their total revenue once roaming is free. DoT will now start the process of implementing nationwide MNP allowing users to retain their existing number at the time of changing their service providers across any state. A senior telecom ministry official said that free roaming will depend on market forces. "But when it has to be implemented, it will depend on market conditions and various considerations. We will implement it then," he said. However, sources pointed out that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will try to encash on making roaming free across the country and national MNP during parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 2014. "It will help the Congress- led UPA government garner political mileage," said the official. Aimed to boost transparency and revive growth in the sector, the new policy will separate telecoms permits and radio airwaves against the current practice of bundling them and charge a market-derived prices for lucrative airwaves. India will also relax rules for Internet telephony, a move which will be positive for companies such as Reliance Industries that own nationwide fourth- generation (4G) mobile broadband spectrum. Internet telephony is currently allowed but in a restricted manner. This is expected to benefit companies like Mukesh Ambanirun Infotel which hold 4G-BWA licenses. With NTP 2012, the Centre will also seek to reform or switch airwave bands held by government agencies and private telecoms operators from time to time to make way for new technologies, Sibal said. Private telecoms carriers have been opposing the airwave switch plan. The policy also seeks to ease 'mergers and acquisition' rules in the sector to facilitate consolidation in the crowded market. The policy will streamline licensing regulations by allowing operators to obtain a single nationwide license and separate the allocation of licenses from awarding of bandwidth. "The policy seeks to provide a predictable and stable policy regime," Sibal added.

 

Mobile Number Portability
MNP review in India: Good or Bad?

2012-05-07 13:18:56

Zee News informs: For long described as a dud, the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) regime is slowly but surely making a mark in India. There has been a consistent rise in portability requests during the last five months beginning October 2011 (until February 2012). At the end of October 2011, pan India MNP requests stood at 2.54 million which amounted to 4.32 million by February end this year. A month on month portability study showed that the numbers grew from 2.54 million in October to 2.67 million subscribers in November. The rise continued unabated in December when the request number touched 3.40 million. During the first two months of this year too portability witnessed an upward trend with January recording 3.55 million requests and February 4.32 million MNP requests. This reflected a new emerging pattern in portability consumption in the country. However, prior to October last year, not even a single month during the whole of 2011 witnessed above the three million MNP request level. The month of May last year witnessed the lowest MNP requests at 2.03 million. Reflecting on the latest trend in the MNP environment, Mahesh Uppal, Director, FirstCom, a telecom consulting firm, argued, “MNP requests are very large and it shows that Indian wireless users are not happy with their current operators.” Ajay Srinivasan, Director, CRISIL Research, however, countered, “The overall muted response to MNP can be attributed to the overwhelming share of the pre-paid segment, where churn rates were high even before the implementation of MNP and continued to be so even post MNP implementation.” According to Amit Goel, CEO, Knowledgefaber, a global consulting firm, the MNP math did not add up. “When we do the number crunching it appears to be on the higher side as compared to the ratio of MNP done in total additions done in other countries”. The overall MNP data analysis showed that during the last 13 months total MNP requests increased from 3.83 million subscribers to 37.11 million until February 2012. A state wise study showed that the maximum MNP requests (3.94 million) were received in Karnataka followed by Andhra Pradesh at 3.46 million and Gujarat at 3.42 million. But how do these numbers reflect on the overall performance of MNP in India in comparison to the rest of the world? “The international experience in MNP has been a mixed bag. It has materially impacted telecom sector in countries like Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and South Korea while it failed to make a mark in UK and France,” averred Srinivasan at Crisil. He, however, predicted that going forward the future of MNP in India would be bright since “MNP was launched in India when the sector was going through a hyper-competitive phase with 14 operators across various circles with many offering very cheap tariffs and very little product or service differentiation across players.” Goel at Knowledgefaber, however, argued that the portability regime would take a hit going forward.

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