Five Disruptions in India’s Mobile Industry: 1 – MNP

As part of my Interop keynote, I discussed five disruptions that we are going to see going ahead in the mobile industry in India. A single slide doesn’t necessarily do justice, so I thought I would elaborate on each of the five themes: MNP, MVNO, 3G, Voice Competition and VAS Competition.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

MNP is likely to be rolled out sometime in the next few months. It will allow people to switch operators and retain their mobile number.

Today, one of the mental blocks many people have against switching to new operators is that they would need to get a new mobile number, and then would come the perceived pain of notifying everyone in their address book of the new number. So, they stay put.

Now, that status quo is about to change. Will people switch? I think there will be some switching which will happen from Vodafone and Airtel to some of the other operators. Initially, operators will primarily try and compete on voice plans. The real opportunity, though, is to attract high ARPU customers with compelling data services — and I don’t see that happening yet. Operators still don’t have the mindset to think about anything other than voice!

Tomorrow: MVNO

111 thoughts on “Five Disruptions in India’s Mobile Industry: 1 – MNP

  1. Hi,
    I doubt if there will be a lot of users switching, partly because of the costs associated with number portability. Operators will certainly be allowed to levy one time charges on customers for switching, which I do not think will be insignificant. I believe the amount charged in the U.S for this is $200.

  2. TRAI is yet to announce the Porting fee , but the huss is that it will be around 100 INR…still I would agree to a large extent that in India the success of MNP may be insignificant..

  3. You mentioned a very important point. The mobile operators are not thinking beyond traditional Voice based and SMS based services. There may be some compelling reasons for them to do so. But I a long run, they have to do it. Also, I do not see data access charges falling in India beyond a certain rate — mainly due to the fact that many servers which Indians access are still hosted in India and Europe.

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