Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mobile Number Portability in India

Back in March 2009, The Business Standard and other local media reported that India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had issued letters of intent to Syniverse and Telcordia for them to provide mobile number portability services to the country’s operators. The companies were to be issued with 10-year licenses, with Syniverse operating in Zone 1 (north and west India) and Telcordia covering Zone 2 (the east and south of the country). At the time, MNP services were to launch in June of 2009, in certain cities with eventual country-wide rollout.

But these services haven’t materialized yet. Latest announcements indicate that due to security reasons, MNP is now slated for launch in May 2010. The Business Standard reports that services will be launched in Chennai and Bangalore first, before being rolled out in the rest of the country.

Irrespective of how and when MNP plays out in India, one fact is clear: MNP is going to heighten competitive intensity in the Indian wireless market. With annualized churn rates in India exceeding 20%, MNP will lead to a further increase in these rates.

Note: ICRA has published a great primer on MNP in India, and it can be found here