Next government may decide on full mobile number portability: Report

Next government may decide on full mobile number portability: Report
A decision on full mobile number portability, which will allow customers to switch telecom operators in any part of the country without changing their numbers, is likely to finalised by the next Union government.

The Department of Telecom may place the matter of full mobile number portability before the Telecom Commission, an inter-ministerial panel, at its meeting proposed for 3 March 2014, which may be around the time the model code of conduct will be implemented ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, sources said.

(Also see: Nationwide Mobile Number Portability by February: Sibal)

A DoT panel, which studied the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on full mobile number portability, suggested seeking some clarifications from the regulator pertaining to licence conditions.

"The Telecom Commission is proposed to meet on March 3 but it is not yet finalised. The full MNP proposal may be placed before the commission. DoT working group has raised certain concern on Trai's recommendations, for which the matter may be sent back to the regulator," sources said.

The regulator may take about 15 days to clarify the concerns raised by the DoT panel.

At present, mobile number portability is allowed within a telecom service area, which normally corresponds to a state or metro city. Full portability will allow customers to retain their numbers while shifting to a network in any part of the country.

The commission also has to take a call on setting up mobile towers in Naxal-affected areas, a proposal approved by the Cabinet a few days after 27 people, including senior Congress party leaders, were killed by ultra forces in Chhattisgarh last year.

"A DoT group is studying bids received by BSNL for rollout of mobile towers in Naxal-affected areas. If bids are higher compared to estimates approved, then the Telecom Commission will have to take a call on it otherwise DoT will give the go-ahead to BSNL for placing orders. The study is still under way," sources added.


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