India’s two state-owned operators, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), have announced that they will not meet the deadline for the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP). According to the Economic Times, both claim they have been unable to introduce the necessary upgrades to their systems to allow for number portability; MTNL says its delay stems from the amount of time and money needed to upgrade its legacy network, while BSNL has claimed it has been hindered by a number of factors ranging from the lack of a draft interconnect agreement to issues regarding tariffs for off-net and on-net calls, as its network will not support differential charging.
At a recent meeting chaired by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary regarding MNP, both BSNL and MTNL revealed that they would not be ready to offer the service before April 2010. As a result the regulator has inaugurated a coordination committee with both operators, alongside MNP Interconnection Telecom Services India and Syniverse, the two companies picked to run the country’s MNP services. The government had previously set a 31 December deadline for implementing the MNP regime for the Metro and Category A circles, with the remaining regions to come online by June 2010.