The government has turned down BSNL’s plea for a compensation of Rs. 1,000 crore to implement the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) regime that allows users to transfer their cell phone numbers from one operator to another.
And it is likely that the state-run operator would miss the deadline of December 31 set by the government to launch the MNP system in the metros.
"The compensation seeked by BSNL to the tune of Rs 1000 crores for implementation of MNP will not be given because all service providers have to implement MNP at their own cost and no compensation is to be provided to any operators”, said a senior Department of Telecom official.
BSNL along with MTNL have earlier informed the government about their inability to implement the MNP system before April for a variety of reasons such as limited time to tweak the technology, tariff plans and billing among others.
The two telcos are in the process of purchasing MNP Gateways. MTNL has floated a limited tender for implementing MNP.
In comparison, private service providers are at various stages of initiating MNP.
The government has set a December 31 deadline to implement the MNP system for the metros and June 2010 for smaller cities and other areas.
The DoT even set up a coordination committee with BSNL and MTNL and two MNP service providers — MITS and Synverse — so that the plan is not derailed.
But BSNL cited a slew of impediments that ranged from a lack of a draft inter-connect agreement to issues regarding tariffs for off-net and on-net as its network will not support differential charging.