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Mobile number portability is a hit, crosses 50 million mark
With power in the hands of customers, mobile number portability (MNP) service has become a hit in India. According to TRAI details, more than 50 million people have opted for the service till the end May.

LIVING IN a remote area of Kashmir valley, Aftab Ansari, 25 would always remain disconnected from his friends because of the network issues with his sim card. Since he had been using the same number for more than five years, he couldn't even shift to another service provider with better coverage till the day he heard about mobile number probability (MNP).

He just had to pay Rs. 19 and sign an agreement with the new service provider to use their services for three months, and while he retained the old number, he enjoyed the new network, and with this, ended the complaints of his friends as well.

It is awesome. You are no longer tied to a service. Change whenever you want to,” Ansari told this citizen journalist .

It's not surprising that the service has been doing wonders across the country as the total number of subscribers opting for the service has risen to 50.16 million till the end of May this year, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

By the end of May 2012, about 50.16 million subscribers have submitted their requests to different service providers for porting their mobile number," a TRAI report said Wednesday.

Launched across the country in January last year with the pilot launch in Haryana on November 25, 2010, the service is seen as another boon to burgeoning telecom industry in India, which the number of telephone subscribers in India increasing to 960.90 million at the end of May 2012. Pertinent to mention is the fact that more Indians have access to mobile phones than toilets and that explains the boom of the telecommunications sector in the country where you can even spot a beggar with a mobile phone.

Zuhaib Ahmad, a Srinagar resident couldn't use Blackberry services on his Airtel sim, because these services are only provided by BSNL in Kashmir valley. It was a double whammy for Ahmad, a business professional who couldn't change his cell number and at the same time couldn't afford to miss the services.

As soon as he got to know about mobile number portability, the smile was back on his face. “It was a game changer. Same number and different service provider, this service is revolutionary,” Ahmad told this citizen journalist.

To opt for the service, a customer needs to send an SMS from the existing phone to 1900. The second step involves the filling up of an transfer application in which the customer needs to enter a unique code that is sent to him by the existing provider.

According to TRAI, the highest 5.82 million MNP requests were received from Karnataka, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan with 4.81 and 4.62 million requests.

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