Info-tech

BSNL, RCom bear initial brunt of mobile number portability

Thomas K Thomas New Delhi | Updated on January 25, 2011

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Trends indicate strong preference for incumbent GSM players

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Reliance Communications have emerged the biggest losers as a result of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), introduced a month ago in Haryana. According to initial numbers, BSNL has lost a net of over 20,000 subscribers, while RCom has lost nearly 13,500 subscribers as on January 16.

Idea Cellular, which was the first to start an advertising campaign on MNP, has a net loss of 1,863 subscribers with 15,604 subscribers leaving its network and 13,741 coming in.

Even new players, including Sistema Shyam, Loop Telecom and Datacom (Videocon), have ended up with a net loss in numbers as a result of MNP.

Though these are initial numbers, the trends indicate a strong preference for incumbent GSM players.

Vodafone gained the most with 30,015 subscribers joining its network and only 9,267 leaving. Although Bharti Airtel lost 10,837 of its subscribers, it ended up in the positive as it managed to lure 18,271 subscribers from other operators' networks.

While these numbers are for Haryana, initial trends coming in from other parts of India are on similar lines.

While MNP was introduced in Haryana in November, the system was launched across the country on January 20.

Teething issues

Sources in the Department of Telecom said that there were teething problems in implementing the system, with complaints coming in from various quarters that porting was not being completed in some cases.

The DoT has written to all the operators to implement the scheme according to the rules set out by the TRAI and the Government.

“If a subscriber sends porting request to number 1900, operators have to respond back with the unique porting code. There should not be any exceptions or excuses for this. We have received some complaints of operators who are not processing porting requests. We are investigating these complaints,” said a top DoT official.

> tkt@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 25, 2011

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