The Indian government has drafted a new telecom policy (NTP) which clears the way for the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and the implementation of carrier pre-selection by fixed line operators. The draft NTP proposes a twelve-month deadline for the launch of MNP from the date of adopting the policy. Regarding fixed line services, it states that ‘each service provider will offer other providers direct access to its customers for transmission services, including national and international long-distance, internet access, DSL, and other value added services. This will be enforced through the implementation of carrier access code (CAC) and pre-selection.’
Pending the policy announcement, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has initiated a consultation paper on MNP. GSM industry body the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has two months to respond to the proposals. The TRAI will submit its recommendations on the NTP to the Department of Telecoms in January, according to its chairman Pradip Baijal.