Recently there is lot of talk going on about making available the number portabilityin mobile phones. The Department of Telecommunications have announced that it would be introduced in 2008, to begin with in the four metros and later to other parts of the country.
What does it mean? You currently have a mobile phone connection with a number, say, 9841567379. You have taken this connection from a mobile phone service provider, Aircel. In case you dont like the service provider or you want to change the service provider to Vodafone inorder to avail better service conditions or cheaper tarriffs, currently you can't do it in India unless you change the mobile phone number.
We all know how difficult it is to convey our change of mobile phone numbers to all our friends, acquaintances, business partners, office colleagues etc., Mobile portability, when introduced, would not require you to change the mobile phone number but allows you to carry the same mobile phone number. The new mobile phone service provider from whom you are subscribing has to pay a service charge to your existing mobile phone service provider. It is possible to move even from CDMA service provider to GSM service provider. For example, you can move from Tata Indicom to Airtel with the same number.
There are few countries in the world which have already allowed mobile portability. The list includes USA, UK and our neighbour Pakistan.
As and when introduced in India, it is expected that there would lot of exodus from the fringe players in the industry like Spice to major mobile service providers.
PS: While reading reports on Mobile portability, I came to know that 90% of the mobile telephone subscribers are pre-paid subscribers.