State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) said on Friday it is ready with the infrastructure to start mobile number portability (MNP) by the 31 October deadline set by the government. The MNP service will allow users to retain their mobile telephone numbers even if they switch operators.
"We are ready with the infrastructure and will meet this deadline," said BSNL chairman and managing director Gopal Das.
But there are apprehensions that the MNP implementation will be deferred again. It has already been delayed four times. Initially, MNP was to be implemented by 31 December 2009 in all the metros along with the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The deadline was then changed to 31 March 2010 and then to 30 June 2010. This was again deferred as operators were not ready with the infrastructure to provide the service.
The major problem in executing the facility is the reluctant approach of telecom players towards the proposal. They fear that the service may lead them to lose a significant number of subscribers to their competitors. Also, some of these Telecom operators want compensation from the government in lieu of possible financial loss that they will suffer after implementing the MNP.
The latest hurdle could be US-based Telcordia Technologies, which reports said could move court to protect its MNP business, which it is entering through joint venture MNP Interconnection.