Monday, February 7, 2011

300,000 subscribers opt for MNP in North India

The northern region of the country comprising Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana has seen a significant jump in the number of subscribers requesting mobile number portability (MNP) since the initial launch of the service in Haryana on November 25 last year and which was later on extended to the rest of India on January 20.
According to the data collected from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), there has been requests from nearly 300,000 subscribers till February 2 from the northern region, while 1,350,000 subscribers have requested to avail the facility across India.
According to the data, Haryana is the frontrunner with 212,000 requests followed by Punjab (75,000), Himachal Pradesh (9,000) and Jammu and Kashmir (500). Insiders feel, in the coming days the figure might witness a quantum jump in Punjab and other states.

It is worth mentioning that Punjab has the highest telecom density. The state has a telecom density of about 80 per cent as compared to the national average of 65 per cent. Further, Punjab recorded over 21 million telecom subscribers, Haryana (about 17 million), Himachal Pradesh (seven million), Jammu and Kashmir (about one million) up to December 2010.
MNP allows users to change their service provider while retaining the number. In northern region, Syniverse Technology has been given a license by the department of telecommunications (DoT) to implement MNP.
According to experts, the requests will increase significantly in the coming months. Further, the service will increase competition between providers to improve their service, they feel. Also, in order to retain the prospective customers, the service providers are offering new schemes to retain clients.
However, consumer organisation revealed that many subscribers were finding it difficult to switch operators under the new MNP scheme.
Speaking to Business Standard, Chandigarh Telecom Subscribers Association President and Telecom Consumer Education & Protection Fund Member Randhir Verma said, “The actual number of subscribers who have requested for MNP would be much more than 13,50,000. We are getting complaints from the subscribers about the leading operators not generating the UPC number, which is a must for accessing MNP, besides other problems. We are going to take up the matter with Trai and Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells.”
To avail of the MNP service, a mobile user has to pay a porting fee of Rs 19. The user has to send a message to 1900, following which he gets a unique porting code. With this code, the user can fill a form of the new service provider. The process is expected to be completed in seven days.source

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