The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), in a bid to get the introduction of mobile network portability (MNP) back on track, has announced that no operator will be allowed to launch new commercial services after 1 September 2010 unless their network is MNP-ready. According to the Economic Times, while it recently pushed back the deadline for MNP introduction to 31 October, the DoT has said that all cellcos must ensure that inter-operator tests for porting numbers are completed before the end of this month.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the launch of MNP has been subject to a number of delays, in part attributed to claims by mobile operators that they were not technically ready to offer the service. As a result the DoT’s initial aim to have number portability introduced in select circles in September 2009 was postponed first to December that year, before two further delays saw it slip to March 2010 and July 2010 respectively, before being pushed back once more to the current 31 October deadline.
State-owned operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) meanwhile have both reported that they are ready to implement the service after several delays. In July 2010 it was reported that both had yet to install the necessary data gateways for the service.