National full mobile number portability means you may change cities, not your number

National mobile number portability (MNP) is an subject that has been passed around and examined by various telecom regulatory authorities in India including DoT and TRAI for ages. So here’s some relief for those of you who dread having to give up your mobile number when moving to another city in the country – TC (Telecom Commission) has given an in-principle nod to the service.

India is separated into 22 circles or service areas within which telecom companies who have won spectrum licenses operate. Until now, you had the choice to switch between networks, like Airtel to Vodafone or Idea to Aircel, and still keep the same mobile number as long as you’re in the same circle.

Man With Phone In Hand

But say, you were living in Mumbai and were moving to Delhi or another city, you wouldn’t be able to keep your mobile number unless you were on roaming. With the approval of full national MNP from TC, consumers will be able to switch operators and telecom circles and still conveniently stick with a single cell number.

TRAI had recommended that MNP be implemented within 6 months, back in December 2013. You could say that service providers are set to lose roaming fees and customers owing to the TC nod, but then authorities have been pushing for free roaming for a long time anyway.

Also see: 100 million Indians hate their network operators

The Economic Times cites a senior telecom department official as saying that the specifics on performance bank guarantees, miscellaneous fees, alterations to licenses of certain service providers and some other details need clarifications before the move is made.

We’re currently waiting for more information, including the amount chargeable to customers resorting to mobile number portability and will keep you updated with more on this topic.