Here is the good news for all mobiles users. The much awaited Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will be operational in India from Thursday, Jan 20. The MNP scheme was launched first in Haryana in Nov 2010 and now all set to be implemented in all around the nation.
What is Mobile Number Portability:
It's a new development in Mobile Communication Technology. In India there are more than 700 million mobile users. In this service the mobile user can switch to other service provider without changing the mobile numbers. Both prepaid and postpaid tele-users have the facility to switch to other favourable tele-operators.
How to switch - Rules:
- The subscriber, who likes to avail this service, need to send a SMS from his mobile to 1900.
- Once the customer sends SMS, he will be receiving a unique porting code from the current service provider.
- Then he need to fill the application in a particular format and mention the new service provider, the customer would like to subscribe for.
- The new service provider will collect the information about the user from the current operator. A time period of seven days will be taken for the complete transfer of mobile number to the network of the new mobile operator.
- As a transformation charge for the new operator the subscriber has to pay the amount of Rs 19.
Exception: The time period of transferring the MNP in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas will be 15 days but not 7 days. [UPDATE: 2G ban ashamed; Mobile Number Portability rescues customers]
Restrictions and limitations:
The only restriction is that you can change your operator without changing your number only within your current service area.
Suppose a subscriber, who is using a Mumbai number, can not switch to an operator in Bangalore. The subscriber can only change his/her operator within Mumbai only.
Experts' take on Mobile Number Portability:
The implementation of MNP will hit the operating margins of service providers and those with deeper pockets would be better placed to cope up (with the new scenario), ratings agency ICRA stated.
The nation wide implementation will increase churn of customers, shoot-up the customer acquisition and retention and lower the ARPUs (average revenue per user) as competitive tariff plans will have to be offered, the agency said in a note.
On service quality, operators will have to focus on better customer care and network coverage while differentiated services like 3G can also swing customers towards a particular operator, ICRA added.
However, mobile users are advised to think twice before switching to another tele operators as surveys have revealed that the net effect of number portability is practically negligible.
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Consumers are suggested to change operators better based on a perception of improvement rather than a real difference.