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Be MNP-compliant before starting new services, DoT to telcos
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The government today imposed a condition on telecos that only those, who are ready with Mobile Number Portability (MNP), would be allowed to start new operations, a move that may restrict or delay launch of new services, including 3G.

The MNP is a service that allows a mobile user to change his operator while retaining the number. As several deadlines were missed, the government has asked the operators to implement nation-wide MNP services from October this year.
"It has been decided by the competent authority that permission to launch commercial services in any service area with effect from September 1, 2010, shall be given only to those licencees (operators) who are MNP compliant," an official order by the Department of Telecom (DoT) said.

Any licencee to whom permission for commercial launch of service has been granted has also to be MNP compliant along with existing service providers.

Most of the leading telecom players are preparing to launch 3G mobile services after September when they get spectrum for which auction was held recently.

Besides, several new telecom players are also in the process to roll out their networks in various parts of the country.

The new stipulations of all operators to be MNP compliant may hit these players adversely as they are yet to put in place the infrastructure for the MNP services.

According to DoT, "for the purpose of being MNP compliant, it may be ensured that inter-operator test for porting as well as call scenario test as prescribed by Telecom Engineering Consultant (TEC) has been completed."

In a recent meeting with the DoT, the telecom operators had exuded confidence to implement the MNP service by October this year. Even state owned BSNL had said that they were ready to launch the service as testing was going on at their gateway.
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