Starting 3 May, mobile phone subscribers will be able to retain their numbers even after relocating to any place in India.
This was announced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday.
"The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued the sixth amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009, which will facilitate Full MNP [nationwide portability] with effect from May 3," Trai said in a statement.
Currently, mobile number portability (MNP) gives subscribers the option to change their service provider without changing their number within a telecom circle. Often, a circle is confined to a particular state.
If a subscriber moves outside a particular telecom circle, he has to pay roaming charges, in addition to STD call rates as applicable.
Besides announcing pan-India portability, the telecom regulator has also made changes in the porting process.
If a postpaid subscriber fails to pay his previous bill that was due to the donor operator (previous service provider) from who the subscriber has moved out, the donor operator has to give notice within 30 days of the bill's due date, according to a report in Business Today.
Later, after the expiry of 60 days from the due date, the donor operator will not be entitled to raise non-payment disconnection requests with the recipient operator to which the subscriber has ported, the report added.
The latest move by Trai is seen as an advantage for subscribers.
"Pan-India players will benefit as customers might retain their operator when they move from one circle to another," The Economic Times quoted Hemant Joshi, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells as saying.