Idea biggest gainer after Mobile Number Portability

Idea Cellular has been the biggest gainer of mobile number portability (MNP) service with a net addition of 3.32 million customers as on March 31 followed by Vodafone and Bharti Airtel.

The two firms stood with a net addition of 2.89 million and 1.2 million subscribers respectively.

The port in number request for Idea Cellular as on March 31, 2012 were 9,297,896 while port out requests were 5,974,318, Minister of Communications Kapil Sibal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

While port in and out requests for Vodafone are 11,040,863 and 81,50,730 respectively, the same for Bharti Airtel stood at 1,08,27,376 and 9,613,630 respectively, he added.

Sibal also said that complaints against some companies including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have been received by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells for rejecting MNP requests.

A total of 26,325 complaints have been received so far.

“Based on the complaints received, information was sought from the service providers on the MNP rejections from time to time and coordination meetings were held to resolve the complaints,” Sibal said.

“Wherever violations were observed in respect of complaince of MNP regulations/directions, showcause notices were issued to the concerned service providers. So far showcause notices have been issued to Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Loop, Reliance and Vodafone,” he added.

MNP is a service which allows users to switch operators while retaining their phone numbers.

The service was implemented across the country Jan 20, while the pilot launch of the service took place in Haryana Nov 25, 2010.

To opt for MNP, a customer has to pay a maximum of Rs.19 to the new operator for ‘porting’ the number and remain with the new operator for at least three months.

The customer has to send an SMS from the existing phone to 1900. Based on this, a unique porting code will be sent by existing provider. An application then has to be filed with the new service provider mentioning the code for transferring the connection.