Security concerns to further delay MNP

22 Feb 2010

The introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in India looks set to face further delays, according to the Economic Times, on the back of security concerns raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It is understood that the ministry’s worries over the MNP proposals have forced the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to defer its earlier approval of MNP Interconnection Solution as one of the two companies selected by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to oversee the introduction of the service. Concerns have been raised over the ownership structure of MNP Interconnection Solutions, with the MHA first voicing its objections in December 2009, with the ministry claiming that a number of shareholders in the company had no experience in running telecom services.

Nonetheless, in a separate but related report by Dow Jones Newswires, it was noted that Andimuthu Raja, the Indian communications minister, said that, even with the expected delays, MNP should be launched by the first week of May. The introduction of MNP has seen a number of delays, having first been scheduled for implementation by 31 December 2009 in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, as well as in the Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu circles. This deadline was subsequently pushed back to 31 March 2010, but again this now looks unlikely to be met.