The wait for national number portability is over. And Airtel, India's largest mobile operator, is stepping up.
Airtel now ready for National mobile number portability. Customers across India can retain their mobile number while moving between states.— Bharti Airtel (@airtelnews) July 2, 2015
National number portability allows customers to retain their phone numbers when they change states. Unlike the United States, Indian operators impose roaming charges when customers move from one state to another. That results in most customers applying for new SIM cards, which come with a new number and involves the hassle of furnishing fresh address proofs. From July 3, that will no longer be required.
Airtel says it is ready for the change. "We aim to empower customers and enable them to retain this identity as they move across anywhere in the country. To facilitate a seamless transition we will also allow our customers to enjoy free incoming on roaming while their number portability request is being processed," said Ajai Puri, Director, Market Operations at Airtel in a statement.
Number portability was slated for May 3, but was postponed by two months by the telecommunications ministry after the Cellular Operators Association of India requested for an extension. In that time, telecom operators were expected to make technical changes to enable the move. Rajan Mathews, COAI director general, has said the industry is now ready for the portability rollout.