The mobile number portability service (MNP) which allows mobile phone subscribers to change their service providers without changing the phone number may be delayed beyond September, Telecom secretary Siddartha Behura has indicated.
MNP was expected to be introduced into large cities by September this year, and in the rest of the country next year by March.
"Mobile number portability will come by the end of this year," Behura said.
Explaining the delay, he said, "It is a new thing... regulations are being prepared on this."
According to the two agencies selected to implement the service, Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Teleco Solutions, there may be only a lukewarm response to the service by 2010, with less than 3 per cent of total users expected to avail it.
The two agencies were hired in March earlier. (See: Mobile number portability: Syniverse, Telecordia bag contracts)