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News updated at 2:06 AM IST

Nationwide MNP by Feb: Sibal

New Delhi, Dec 13, 2012 , DHNS 1:17 IST
Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal announced at the “India Telecom 2012” here on Thursday that nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which will allow users to retain their numbers even when they move from one state to another, will roll out by February 2013.

Sibal said implementing nationwide MNP is one of the key features of the new telecom policy announced by the UPA government.

At present, a user is allowed to switch to a different operator within the circle, while retaining the number. In the new telecom policy, the Centre has envisaged implementing MNP nationwide, allowing users to retain their mobile numbers even when they shift between any of the 22 telecom circles of India.

As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data, by the end of October 2012, about 75.14 million subscribers have submitted their requests to different service providers for porting their mobile number.

In September 2012 alone, total number of subscribers who submitted requests for MNP stood at 5.36 million.

The minister said some of the other important features of the new telecom policy including spectrum assignment and pricing, unified licences regime, M&A guidelines, finalisation of guidelines for spectrum sharing, creation of a fund for R&D and manufacturing will also be implemented early next year.

Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said troubles in the telecom sector will end and the new policy will address investors’ concerns and provide impetus to growth.

The government allocated airwaves or spectrum carrying mobile phone signals in a transparent manner through market-related processes, the prime minister added.

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