Kapil Sibal, Telecom Minister of India, has announced that the facility of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) will be made available on a nationwide scale from February 2013. If this facility comes into practice, subscribers will no longer have to change their phone number even if they change circles. Currently, the subscriber can port numbers within the same circle only.
The ‘One India, One Circle' plan of the government will also do away with national roaming. Kapil Sibal revealed during the meeting, India Telecom 2012, in New Delhi that the government has come up with a broad agenda starting from December 2012 lasting till February 2013, in order to implement the National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP 2012) within the time frame.
The government had planned to implement MNP on a national level under the NTP 2012. This will allow subscribers to retain their numbers even if they move about the 22 telecom circles in India.
The policy aims at inducting telecom services in the rural areas upto 70 percent by 2017 and a 100 percent penetration of telecom industry in urban areas within 2020. Sibal stated that GDP growth and proliferation of broadband connectivity intimately related. He added that if the domestic manufacturers enhance their expertise and capabilities, the tablet and smartphone market will also play a crucial role in growth and development.
The agenda scheduled till February 2013 have some other key initiatives such as unified licenses regime, M&A guidelines, creating funds for R&D as well as manufacturing, approving spectrum allocation and their pricing, and finalizing spectrum sharing guidelines.