Mobile number portability: A great idea sirji?

Mobile number portability

Mobile number portability

Okay, as of Thursday we will all have the means to switch mobile phone operators without having to lose our precious 10-digits.

But is this the real deal we as cell phone users really sought?

Before you pop a vein in outrage and accuse me of whining against a much-needed “progressive” law, consider that as an Indian mobile phone user you still can’t keep the same number living in another state in the country.

Consider that you still pay substantially high amounts to get new SIMs and are otherwise charged a lot more under “roaming” charges, when in fact you are still only roaming well within the confines of your own country.

We call ourselves united, a nation of one, and yet we are forced to pay to get new SIM connections just because we choose to move to live in another part of this good green nation.

I don’t want to offend any pro-Telangana, anti-Telangana or neutrals with this hypothetical example, but consider that if tomorrow they do decide to partition Andhra Pradesh into two or more numbers, and decide to call it two states, then bigger contentious issues aside, would I have to then pay roaming charges travelling from Visakhapatnam to say Hyderabad?

Idea Mobile Number Portability: ‘Lift’

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to flag off the nationwide rollout of number portability on Thursday. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal claims that this move would increase competition among providers, “enhance” choice among consumers and force telecom providers to “improve the quality of their services”.

I really wonder if portability would do all that. Because much of the mobile phone users I know are more than content with sticking with one mobile service operator.

How many people do you really know are eager to switch from A to V? They are virtually the same. The rates are almost the same. The service, barring minor differences, is the same and yet we are supposed to get excited about this paltry new reform set to be unveiled?

This just sounds like another pretentious move to keep the public content with moderately improved services.

And despite the comforting fact that V and A do allow me as a user to shut their ridiculous promotional offers on call and messages within a month or two of me harassing their staff and raising a “Do Not Disturb” complaint at their office, I still get weird automated calls from husky sounding women singing vernacular songs that gloat up some random company or offer.

Yes, I’m a mobile phone user and I’m still deeply disturbed by the service I receive. Now here’s an Idea, sirji: How about we get mobile numbers and SIMs that follow us wherever we choose to move to within India? How about a real ban on unsolicited texts and calls from all those companies whose products I don’t need?

Ashwin Sriram

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14 responses to “Mobile number portability: A great idea sirji?

  1. Sirji: If mobile number portability is a reality, why should Indian citizens not have government-department minister portability. We can then change current ministers to established criminals? Perhaps it may not make any difference because with people like A. Raja, S. Kalmadi cannot be distinguished from criminals. And with the Wikileaks publishing the details of the rupees 2 lakh crore stolen from India deposited in Swiss banks because public knowledge we will know the difference or what?

  2. sir
    this is a great move. I am fed up with the present service provider AIRTEL the so called no nonsense network provider whole of india. Living in the Garden city and software city we have been facing ( around 50 connections net billing of 1.00 lakh ) per month living in the heart of Bangalore and facing network problems for the last 1 year have no solution or solace. Lost many job interviews ( always our phones are not reachable) and couldnt attend many funerals for lack of network or visit ailing patients who are in the hospitals in the death bed. this is a great move and we change the new network provider we need to wait and watch for the results. this would be a big jolt to the so called leading players and big lesson to change their strategies and make them to bring and beg them to approach to the customers.

  3. Yesterday firt time i got the call from some representative of my current service provider about the satisfaction with the services. I’m using the same number for last 7 years and just before the portability some one was checking the service level, So i believe it’s high time to the operator who have taken there customer for granted. They should and will focus on the service standard now. Let’s see the impact.

  4. Can we please have DC,Comissioner,SHO,Local political Honcho,Corrupt IAS officer,Raja and Kamalidi portability to a prison for life,or maybe the Caymann Islands or Switzerland for life, so that the damage done by them can be corrected? What country are we living in,these people would be summarily shot in China or Russia,or loved well for ever in a jail if they were in the USof A.
    Is our Sardar listening?

  5. There are people who will benefit from this exercise Barkha ,when your company pays the bill it does not matter. But when you do you realize that there are more honest players in this market and that I realised when I started using a prepaid side by side with my existing connection and my bill still remained the same. The service provider was non responsive since I had the number for 15 years. With MNP I can now switch and I am switching from Vodafone to Idea I have my UPC yesterday itself and I intend to switch at the earliest possible time despite losses that are immediate on acocunt of BB Subscription etc. The calculation is more like that of a car. It is the annual expenses that count. Try it like with various modles on service providers and maybe even you will want to switch. Happy Freedom. I thank the Government for making the policy more even.

  6. True, there is a dire need for many more improvements to cellular phone service provided in India. But, mobile phone portability is a great move for many non-urbanites. In my case, shifting business to a newly constructed workplace left me helpless because my current AIRTEL number is hardly of use there. Due to poor signal strength I have to shift to BSNL, but risk losing out a huge chunk of my customer base if I move to a new number. My mobile number is registered with many online and paper back business directories. It will be next to impossible to afford a change in mobile number now. For similar people into small scale and medium scale buiness, this is a welcome move.

  7. I don’t to know what to say for this comment! Not just in India, but whether it is US or UAE, each state has different laws. And some times the laws differ even widely. And those laws impact our lives more than this simple portability! It seems today, specially for youngsters, only IT and related services matter and nothing else exists, or they can’t think beyond a very narrow “band width”.

  8. Hey, I’ve heard Uninor has great non-stop talk plans…and MNP is now possible. I’m switching to Uninor http://on.fb.me/switchto-uninor And has anyone tried this Uninor Unlimited Music plan? They say spend Rs. 2.50 everyday and listen to all the music you want and download and change ringtones everyday! Someone please tell me if its true!

  9. sir,
    this is a great move. I am fed up with the present service provider AIRTEL the so called no nonsense network provider whole of india. Living in the Garden city and software city we have been facing ( around 50 connections net billing of 1.00 lakh ) per month living in the heart of Bangalore and facing network problems for the last 1 year have no solution or solace. Lost many job interviews ( always our phones are not reachable) and couldnt attend many funerals for lack of network or visit ailing patients who are in the hospitals in the death bed. this is a great move and we change the new network provider we need to wait and watch for the results. this would be a big jolt to the so called leading players and big lesson to change their strategies and make them to bring and beg them to approach to the customers.

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  11. If anyone want free simcard with free huge balance,please callme on 09967859403.

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