MNP to hurt telcos’ revenues; mobile tariffs may move north

NEW DELHI: With telecom operators rolling out mobile number portability from today, experts believe that this may have some impact on their revenues and that would trigger an increase in mobile tariffs.

“With retaining numbers becoming easy and telcos’s profit margins already under pressure, there would be some fine-tuning of tariffs. But there would not be any dramatic rise in tariffs. We have been seeing rise in mobile tariffs since the last one year and so the market would not allow to rise tariffs dramatically,” said Mahesh Uppal, Director, ComFirst.

Telecom operators–Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Uninor, MTS, Reliance Communications, Videocon Telecom, BSNL and MTN–are rolling out full MNP from today.

According to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), as of April 30 this year, there were 157.01 million requests for MNP, with India’s mobile user base standing at 973.35 million and 869.93 million of these are active users.

MNP was introduced in 2011 and so far, the telcos had invested close to Rs 500 crore for impelementing MNP.

MNP allows an user to switch to any other operator of his choice while retaining the same number he was using.

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