New Delhi: The government has deferred the proposal for allowing the US-based Telecordia Technologies, one of the companies mandated to implement the mobile number portability service, as the Home Ministry wanted to know the company’s activities in Pakistan.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), at its meeting held last month, deferred the proposal of MNP Interconnection, in which 74% stake is owned by Telecordia and 26% by Deepak Talwar Consultants.
Telecordia is one of the two agencies selected by the government to act as clearing house for the mobile number portability (MNP), a service which allows mobile subscribers to switch to a different service provider while retaining their numbers.
According to sources, the representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs have requested for deferment on the grounds that they need some time to confirm whether the role of Telecordia in Pakistan was that of merely a vendor and that it does not have a role in number portability activities.
Security agencies, including Intelligence Bureau (IB), had in their comments on the MNP Interconnection proposal of Telecordia had expressed apprehensions regarding the US firm’s presence in Pakistan and raised the possible exploitation of MNP data for purposes inimical to Indian interests.
The Home Ministry had also referred to Telecordia’s operations in Pakistan, which could be a security issue and therefore wanted the permission given to MNP Interconnection revoked.
The objections from the Home Ministry could result in further delays in implementing MNP.
If Telecordia is not allowed, then DoT will have to invite fresh bids for appointing a new mobile number portability service provider.
Apart from Telecordia-backed MNP Interconnection, DoT had granted licence to Syniverse to act as the number portability service provider in the country.
However, in the earlier meeting of 19 February 2010, FIPB had given its no objection to Telecordia.
Mobile number portability was supposed to be implemented from 1 January, but has been deferred till June this year.