The long awaited mobile Number portability – MNP will be reality in India from 25th starting with Haryana Circle. Syniverse and Telcordia have been selected to be the clearing houses, the former for West and North India and the latter for South and East India. We understand that all the required systems and processes have been created and the testing phase is completed. As per TRAI, pan-India MNP implementation is expected to be complete by January 10, 2011.

You can even Switch from CDMA [Reliance / Tata Indicom / MTS] to GSM [Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL etc] keeping the same number under the regime of Mobile Number portability.

Customer acquisition cost, due to MNP, is likely to rise as the acquiring operator (Recipient) is unlikely to collect fees from the customer. Also, the Recipient will have to scrutinize the application and conduct the verification process, which involves some cost. As the Recipient will issue a new SIM card (INR 40), we believe, it is likely to be subsidized. Bharti, being the largest operator, will have to incur customer retention cost to follow the MNP process, make efforts to retain the customer and settle for lower ‘realised pricing’ in any case.

The impact of MNP, 3G services and the final verdict on 2G spectrum pricing are certain events that will lead to cost pressures. Some of the other proposals like 2G spectrum refarming and treating the entire country as a single service area thereby impacting the inter-state premium tariff could further have an adverse impact.