More users likely to opt for MNP following SC ruling

A mass switchover by mobile users is likely in the telecom sector as customers would now plan to port in to different networks following the Supreme Court’s order cancelling 122 licences of operators such as Idea Cellular, Uninor, Tata Teleservices, Loop Telecom and Videocon.

The mobile number portability (MNP) service, which had a pan-India launch in January last year, has so far witnessed 29.24 million porting requests from across the country having over 890 million wireless users.

Noted telecom analyst and director of consultancy firm Com First India Mahesh Uppal said MNP will definitely be used as an option by those users who attach huge importance to their numbers.

“Though in India people are not very committed to MNP as in West, it will still be used as an option by those for whom retaining their numbers is very important. MNP would certainly act as a useful aid,” Uppal told IANS.

Although the telecom regulator said the move by subscribers is expected to affect barely 5 percent of the total subscriber base, a concerned user would like to go in for another player taking advantage of the MNP service.

“The move is likely to affect less than 5 per cent of users as the current operators other than the ones whose licences have been cancelled control almost the rest of the market,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( Trai) chairman J S Sarma told IANS.

“Customers can always go to the operators of their choice (through MNP),” he added.

Vikramjeet Singh, a 22-year-old user of one of the affected firms, said: “This is shocking news but I am glad that through MNP my mobile services would continue but there is a lot of confusion right now and I hope to get some clarity on this issue.”

“As a consumer I am perplexed as to why should a consumer suffer for the faults of telecom operators but I think I have no better option than MNP. I have to retain my number as it is circlulated among all my friends and relatives,” 26-year old Shambhavi Shukla, working at a private firm, told IANS.

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