Monopoly of Networks is about to over. When you get freedom to change your network, just for Rs.19 while retaining your Number; operators will really have tough competition.
What’s that exactly ?
The service is known as Mobile Number Portability (MNP).
As of now, numbers are property of respective service provider. So if you have a SIM of Vodafone, that number belongs to Vodafone. MNP transfers this right to a sole Number owner company which looks after network changes. Once MNP will be launched, numbers will be owned by Syniverese and Telecordia; two MNP service providers for India.
How does it work ?
Technically, Operators have no right on a number. They just need to provide service to specified number. To make it simple, lets take an example. A subscriber currently has Airtel Prepaid and he wishes to switch to Vodafone. All he need to do is contact Vodafone, fill in MNP Form and Get SIM from Vodafone. Nothing else ! Within short time, he will get service from Vodafone, without change of number.
Technically, MNP service provider updates Number database, asks Airtel to stop service for that number and Vodafone to start service for it. Time required to transfer or port number is no more than 3 days. 19Rs. is worth amount for this process.
Is that really needed ?
Due to heavy competition among operators, they intend to gain more user base. This leads to lack of quality and support to customers. Many of the users face network issues, billing issues and other things. Some may want to switch network to get benefit of certain service on it. And the most important, MNP will no more allow monopoly of providers on users.
So what are we waiting for ?
Well, we are waiting for its launch ! This service is already in action across various countries. Due to technical and legal issues, it has been postponed for 5-6 times or so here. Now everything is set ! All operators have run test for it. As stated earlier, Syniverese and Telecordia are MNP Service providers for India. They have setup up Number database and ready to come in action. Final launch is expected on October 31st, 2010 sometime in December 2010, after a long awaited period.
What about Terms ?
To avoid misuse and threats, some terms are specified to use MNP. Current terms say that, User must be using current network for 6 months or more. After switching network, he needs to use it for at least 6 months. All verification documents will be demanded by new network.
Is it beneficial ?
Well Yes ! It will make operators to really care about customers. Customers will have freedom to switch networks. No need of change in mobile number reduces inconvenience. Cost of MNP is kept fairly low, so anyone could afford it.
Obviously, operators may try new tricks to get more users. They may launch bumper offers and schemes to make users switch to them. And as per terms, user needs to use network for at least 6 months. Nobody can really assure if new operator will fulfill one’s requirement.
Indian Mobile users will have true freedom with launch of MNP. And hopefully it will push the telecom industry to become better.