According to a statement issued by the government, MNP will now be implemented by March 31.
MNP will allow subscribers to retain their existing mobile phone when they move from one mobile service provider to another irrespective of the mobile technology, or from one mobile technology to another, in a licensed service area.
Also, this time, MNP will be implemented in all telecom circles in one go instead of only in metros and large towns as planned earlier.
The statement further stated that according to an assessment done by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), "while some of the access (basic/ mobile) and ILD (international long distance) service providers have technically upgraded and augmented their networks and some have established physical links with MNP operators, others are still in the process."
For the implementation of MNP, the country has been divided into two zones and licenses have been issued to one MNP operator in each zone, who will provide centralised database, query response and clearing house to enable correct routing and termination of calls by operators.
The network will be tested before the MNP service is implemented. After the operators are ready with their own inter-operator test results, a complete acceptance test is to be carried out by DoT across the networks of all the concerned service providers in all the service areas before MNP service is implemented.
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