If the figures offering an insight into mobile number portability (MNP) requests by Indians are proof of how unsatisfied they are with the services they’ve subscribed to, then network operators had better sit up and take notice. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), close to 100 million people have asked for a change in service providers.
Of course, MNP does not merely let people switch to different operators, as can be inferred from the term. It allows you to move to another network (Vodafone to Airtel, for example) and still keep your old mobile number. So you don’t have to go around telling friends and associates to update their contacts list with your new number, even though you have to get your SIM card replaced.
TRAI pitched the proposal a few years ago when the telecom sector in India started growing significantly. The move was meant to ensure that companies play fairly and put their subscribers first. It should have pushed rival network operators to offer better customer service and network coverage. But the idea has yet to meet with proper success if the latest report is anything to go by.
According to TRAI’s estimates for this year:
– There were 97.82 million MNP requests by the end of July
– 2.37 million fresh MNP requests were submitted in August
– The total amounted to 100.20 million unsatisfied subscribers by the end of August
It cannot be denied that major service providers are working on improving the quality of customer care they can deliver. So it’s possible that a large share of MNP requests have more to do network coverage problems more than anything else. What do you think?