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MNP may come with 7-day wait
Published on 12 Feb. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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It may take seven working days for customers to change their cellular operator when mobile number portability (MNP) is implemented across the country from April 1. The seven-day time frame was part of the solution that the communication ministry and telecom companies have worked out jointly in a meeting last week to address concerns of the country’s security agencies which had raised severe objections to the implementation of MNP, stated Economic Times. As per current regulations, it is mandatory for telcos to ensure that the entire portability process is complete within four days if a customer requests for a change of operator. The Department of Telecom (DoT) will now ask Trai to change existing regulations to allow a seven-day time frame. India’s security agencies had demanded that MNP be put on hold until a foolproof plan was put in place to ensure that phone numbers that were under surveillance could be monitored even if such customers were to avail the facility to change one’s operator, while retaining his number. Following this, DoT held a meeting with telcos on the issue where it was decided that service providers would port those numbers that were being monitored or under surveillance only after it was approved by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). The solution also involves the LEA informing the new operator to which the customer is moving so that the surveillance and monitoring mechanism is transferred seamlessly between the two telcos. MNP implementation may also miss its April 1 deadline after the home ministry recommended that the licence given to MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions (MITS), be revoked on the grounds that the company has operations in Pakistan.

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