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TC gives nod to full MNP, GUN in its first meet

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V&D Bureau
New Update

Inching closer to the new government’s vision of ‘one number, one nation’, the Telecom Commission in its first meet gave in-principal approval to full Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

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Full mobile number portability will allow subscribers to retain their numbers even if they move on to any other part of the country. Currently, it is confined to the same service area only.

Telecom regulator TRAI has suggested that operators should be given six months time from the date the full portability is approved for making requisite changes in their networks.

In an interview with Voice&Data in January this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said:“We believe in abolishing roaming charges and thereby realize that the vision of’One number, One nation’ should be suitably taken up.” 

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Currently, consumers go through the hassle of buying new mobile connection while moving on to a different place.  A subscriber needs to have separate mobile number if he moves to some other state or else have to pay roaming charges.

Operators, however, are of the view that the move will help only a small section of the society and will lead to revenue losses for the telcos.

"About 1-2% of India's population will think of relocation, so we believe that the whole matter needs to be looked at in the context of cost benefit for the customers," said media reports quoting Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India, said.

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"We should be looking at nationwide licensing rather than circle wise licensing,” he added.

The highest decision-making body in the telecom department, Telecom Commission, also cleared a plan that calls for strengthening of telecom connectivity in North East region. Besides, the government user network (GUN) over the National Optical Fibre Network – as part of which the government has plans to provide Wi-Fi services at panchayat levels, also received its approval.

Under GUN, 2.5 lakh gram panchayats will have access to broadband connectivity by March 2017.

In addition to these, the commission also approved a proposal to set up mobile towers in order to provide telephone services in Naxal-affected states. The project was delayed due to differences in the value of the project estimated initially and the value projected by the winning bidders.

The approvals will require a final clearance from the Cabinet.

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