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Cartel in Indian mobile industry, NGO alleges

28 ноября 2011

Indian mobile operators are colluding to prevent customers porting their phone number to a new provider, the president of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Haryana state alleged this week.

The telcos are operating as a cartel in order to block mobile number portability, Mr R. K. Verma, president of the Chandigarh Telecom District Telephone Subscribers Association (CTSA) said in a report by The Hindu Business Line earlier this week. This has resulted in a low MNP rate, with almost 5 million of 20 million MNP requests not having been carried out, the paper said.

Verma could not immediately provide Total Telecom with further comment on the matter, other than to suggest that there are "cartelisation" problems within the Indian telecommunication industry.

"People are sick of getting their MNP requests rejected," Verma was quoted as saying by The Hindu Business Line. "Those who wish to change the service provider are just switching numbers or taking an additional SIM."

According to the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) just 15.5 million subscribers across India submitted requests to port their mobile number to a new operator between November last year, when MNP came into force, and July this year; that equates to 1.8% of India's 858.4 million wireless subscribers.

It had originally predicted a much higher percentage. In November 2009 it estimated that that the first 15 months of MNP would see a 10% reporting rate, falling to 7%, 6% and 5% for the subsequent three years.

This is not the first time India's mobile operators have been accused of standing in the way of MNP.

In August the TRAI called upon five Indian mobile operators to explain why they were refusing requests to port customers' numbers.

And in October it called on Vodafone to accept its customers' porting requests after a series of complaints. Vodafone claimed the subscribers in question were in a contractual agreement with the operator that precluded their ability to port.

After a number of delays, MNP regulations came into force in India in November 2010 in Haryana state and nationwide in January this year. 

Источник: Total Telecom

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