Mobile number portability (MNP) which was launched on Thursday has evoked an array of reactions from the service providers with some of the smaller players like Uninor, a young operator in the pre-paid mobile market remaining unfazed by MNP with the service-provider seeing it as an opportunity and bigger players like the Tatas saying that it would be a great leveller.

Most service providers concurred that MNP might compel the industry to move towards classic competition. In fact, even more so, since MNP's biggest impact is likely to be on the high-value post-paid segment.

Deepak Gulati, Executive-President, Mobility Business Division, Tata Teleservices, felt that MNP would be a great leveller as it would give telecom users liberty and the power of choice.

Uninor said that it did not feel that MNP would be a game-changer although it could make the companies employ some interesting strategies. Rajiv Bawa, Executive Vice-President Corporate Affairs, Uninor, said that MNP would definitely have higher relevance in the post-paid segment since these number-loyal subscribers have not yet had free choice due to worries of losing their number identity.

However, MNP may force operators to think of segmentation in the pre-paid market too.