New Delhi: Mobile Number Portability, a service that allows mobile users to retain their phone number while shifting to a new operator, is all set to be implemented from October this year, with BSNL declaring that is absolutely ready to start the service.
“Infrastructure is in place and testing is going on at the gateway,” former BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told reporters before demitting office after superannuation on 31 July.
After missing several deadlines, the government has now fixed 31 October as the new date for implementing MNP services across the nation.
Some new telecom operators are still far away from putting in place the required infrastructure, sources said, adding that with BSNL announcing its readiness, the government might not extend the deadline any further.
An MNP gateway is crucial for the MNP infrastructure. An MNP gateway is required to handle porting communication between operators.
“The whole network (all access service providers in all service areas and international long distance operators) in the country have to be ready and tested before the MNP service is implemented,” the Department of Telecom (DoT) had said recently, adding that keeping in view the present status of implementation by various operators, the timeline has been extended to 31 October 2010.
Sources said some of the operators are waiting for delivery of equipment after placing purchase orders, while others are waiting for security clearance to place their purchase orders.
Sources said the government has warned that “strict action in accordance with conditions of license agreement shall be taken against the operators found deliberately delaying the implementation of MNP,” in order to ensure that there is no further delay in rolling out MNP services.
This was discussed at a meeting held recently by the DoT with the operators.
As per the original schedule, MNP was to be implemented by 31 December 2009, in the Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai circles, as well as in the Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu circles. The deadline was then changed thrice for a nationwide launch.