BSNL seeks early security clearance to import equipment

BSNL seeks early security clearance to import equipment

New Delhi: State-run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, has informed the department of telecommunications, or DoT, that it may miss the extended 31 March deadline for implementing mobile number portability (MNP) if it does not get security clearance soon for importing the equipment it needs to do this.

Mobile number portability allows cellphone users to change their operators while retaining their numbers.

BSNL has sought the intervention of DoT to expedite the security clearance process to import the equipment so it can meet the deadline.

“We would like to bring to your kind notice that BSNL has not been able to place purchase orders for MNP gateway for want of security clearance," the firm said in a letter to DoT.

BSNL said it had submitted to DoT technical details of the infrastructure it needs and was awaiting security clearance before placing the orders.

The government had earlier set 31 December as the deadline for implementing mobile number portability in the four metro cities, and June for the rest of the country.

This deadline could not be met after many operators informed DoT that they would require more time to upgrade their networks. Following this, DoT set 31 March as the new date for rolling out the facility across the country.

The networks of all cellphone operators across the country have to be upgraded and tested before portability can be implemented. This includes technical upgrades, setting up links with portability operators and conducting inter-operator tests. Finally, DoT would have to conduct an acceptance test across the networks of all service providers.