Jan 5, 2009

India - DoT working on number portability to meet June deadline

Working towards meeting the June 2009 deadline, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will shortly issue clarifications to the bidders on the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) norms, after which it will start accepting applications from the prospective firms to act as agencies for porting numbers.

The government has already held the pre-bid conference last month and is about to issue queries of the operators on the same. The bids are scheduled to be opened on February 5, said an official. The prospective bidders will act as clearing houses and database for the MNP system.

The implementation roadmap for MNP is for metros and category A circles by the middle of 2009 and in the entire country by the end of 2009.

The DoT is also likely to take a decision shortly if it is in the ambit of existing norms to allow users to shift between GSM and CDMA services of the same operator before the full-fledged MNP starts between two operators.

The intra-operator MNP is possible with two operators in the Indian context — Reliance Communications and the Tatas. While RCom has announced its pan-India GSM services recently, Tatas do have spectrum for GSM service but are yet to start the service.

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