Deadline for number portability extended

Deadline for number portability extended

State-run telecom companies BSNL and MTNL have exerted pressure on the Centre to extend the deadline. Reuters

As mobile telecom service providers failed to put the system in place, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has decided to extend the March 31 deadline to July 1 to roll out the service.
“This decision was taken at an internal meeting of the DoT,” sources told Deccan Herald. 

 Given the number of operators and  12 billion calls per day, the system has to be in place and this may take some more time, they said.

The government had earlier given March 31 as the deadline for implementing MNP across the country. Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Gurudas Kamat had earlier informed the Rajya Sabha that the March 31 deadline for MNP would not be met.

“Since all networks are not likely to be completely ready by March 31, the deadline is not likely to be met,” he had said.

“The government will announce the revised time line after ascertaining the status from all the stakeholders and the reasonable time required for acceptance testing,  so that there will be no network problem in call  processing after MNP services are launched,” the minister said.

Sources, however, said it was state-run telecom companies, BSNL and MTNL, that have exerted pressure on the Centre to extend the deadline owing to their failure in installing the system to start the service. The MNP rollout has triggered a price war in the mobile telephony sector as companies scrambled to reduce call rates to retain their customer base.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had fixed a ceiling of Rs 19 on the charge that an operator can take from a subscriber porting his phone number.

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