Moving further on the vexed issue of mobile number portability, the Telecom Commission has given in-principle approval to pan-India full portability, which will allow a mobile subscriber to retain his or her number even if she moves from one state to another. This reference will be sent to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for additional information and clarification.
In September last year, Trai had recommended to the telecom ministry that the telecom operators be given six months to implement full mobile number portability. Allowing full mobile number portability was part of the National Telecom Policy-2012; but is yet to seriously take off.
Currently mobile number portability is restricted within a service area. This means that presently subscribers can only change between operators within a service area. With full mobile number portability, subscribers will be able to change to another operator in other states also.
Even within the current portability rules, the number of subscribers changing mobile service providers without changing their cellphone number has reached 100 million.
Meanwhile, the Telecom Commission – the top decision-making body under the telecom ministry - also approved another infrastructure project for improving phone services in North East states. The Trai had estimated a project cost of around Rs2,900 crore.