Local Number Portability comes to India

LNP or local number portability finally comes to India. What this means is that now if you dont like service with BPL you can switch to Orange, or Airtel or Tata or any other cellphone provider without losing your number.

After sitting on a proposal for more than two years, the department of telecom on Monday decided to introduce number portability for mobile services. This means that if you are unhappy with your service provider but have been unable to shift to another because it would mean changing your phone number, you will now be able to switch while retaining the same number.

The move, long demanded by those who wanted a truly competitive telecom market, should see service providers going the extra mile to ensure their customers stay satisfied and hence loyal to them. According to telecom minister A Raja, the facility will be launched in the four metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai — to begin with. However, he did not specify exactly when this would happen.

Full number portability allows users to retain their telephone numbers not just when they change service providers. They can also retain the number when they are switching service types — say, from mobile to fixed line — or when changing locations — say, from Delhi to Mumbai or vice versa. The portability envisaged by Raja, however, will only allow wireless number portability.

LNP came to the US in November 2003 and I switched on Day 1 from Sprint to T-Mobile. In the early days of switching there were several computer problems, but once the system was vetted out, the transfer was seamless. 

So, in this scenario, which carrier will suffer the worst. Who do you think people will flock to ?

It goes without saying that this will bring more competition and lower rates.

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