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|September 28, 1998||
TRAI moots 'portable' phone numbers
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is considering introduction of number portability.
Currently, the call for warding facility is available only in limited areas in the country.
The number portability system is vital in the context of the emergence of a number of private basic telecom operators.
If a subscriber wants to switch over from DoT/MTNL service to that of a private network, he can do so without changing his telephone number.
According to TRAI Secretary Narendra Sharma, "The number portability system has to be introduced nationwide in one go. Further, one has to set up intelligent network platforms at the switches, which is going to be tough.
"In the future, one can use switches which have intelligence built into them. These are already available in the market."
On the telephone number plan, the telecom regulator has recommended two schemes.
Scheme A for eight-digit closed number system and scheme B for a ten-digit closed number system.
"The scheme will be the same for basic, paging, cellular and mobile services. We will decide on this issue only after discussions with the industry," he said.
"However, we cannot rule out some technical constraints as these procedures require additional network resources and databases at the service control points of the signalling network. This may take some time and would await the operator's decision to first introduce number portability within his network."
According to analysts, many consumer-oriented business houses feel that they would loses clients if their numbers were changed while shifting to the service provided by the private operator.
If finalised, it could be a major boost for private operators where they could see a smooth transition of potential subscribers from DoT/MTNL into their network.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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