India's mobile operators have today kicked off the rollout of full mobile number portability (MNP), fulfilling a new regulatory requirement.
Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and Reliance Communications are all commencing the rollout nationwide number portability today, the Press Trust of Indiareported.
Smaller player Tata DoCoMo began rolling out the service yesterday, while Uninor and state-run operators BSNL and MTNL have also confirmed they are ready to start deploying the service.
Indian mobile operators had previously only allowed customers to keep their phone numbers when porting to a different provider in the same telecom circle, but now customers will be able to retain their numbers when moving to a different area.
Telecom regulator Trai gave in-principal approval to full MNP in June last year, and had originally instructed operators to make the service available from May 3. But the operators needed more time to upgrade their systems to support nationwide porting.
Intra-circle MNP was introduced in India in 2011. As of February this year, there had been 142.9 million MNP requests.