Mobile number portability is suddenly growing in Asia again, with India starting the service in one region while Thailand plans for a launch in Bangkok on mid-December.
India's new communications minister, Kapil Sibal, yesterday launched MNP in the Haryana region and revealed plans to implement it nationwide on January 20.
Eight operators – Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, BSNL, Aircel, Loop, Vodafone, Etislatat and Videocon – now operate in the Haryana circle. Economic Times said.
Under regulator Trai's MNP rules, operators will have seven days in most circles to process an MNP request. The customer's number will remain in service for all but the last two hours of this time.
Operators may charge up to 19 rupees ($0.63) for porting, and users must wait a minimum of three months before switching providers again.
The introduction of MNP to India has been delayed multiple times. It was originally scheduled to be introduced at the end of last year.
In Thailand, regulator NTC has revealed that AIS, DTAC, True Move, CAT Telecom and TOT will start offering on December 15 in Bangkok.
Operators have told NTC that they are now only ready to implement the service in the capital, but plan to roll out nationally over the coming months, Nation reported.
The five cellcos companies face fines of 166,667 baht ($5,550) per day for failing to meet the August deadline for introduction, but are appealing the penalties, with NTC planning to consider the appeals soon.
China also kicked off a six-month trial of MNP in Tianjin and Hainan Island this week. The service is free, and operators are required to process MNP requests within two working days.