Nationwide MNP: Too much hype, not much to gain


July 3rd 2015, Indian Government ensured country wide MNP rather than just in the circles of the existing providers.

Under the Pre July 3rd 2015 era, if a person has a mobile number issued in Delhi, it couldn’t be transferred to another circle, for example, Bangalore or Kolkata. While the numbers might not be large, this has also led to an inflated mobile subscriber base in the country, as a person is forced to get a new number when he relocates and thus he has at least two mobile numbers with him.

That all is history now…

In Brief about,

We have around 721 million GSM Users as of June 2015 in the country.

Airtel leads with 32 percent ,vodaphone 26 percent, Idea 22.5 percent, Aircel 11, Uninor 7 percent, Videocon 1 percent , MTNL  0.5  percent.

Circles are divided as Metro, A, B and C. ( “metro” circles covering four major cities, “A” circles for regions with other large cities, “B” circles covering regions with smaller towns, and “C” circles for rural areas.)

Metros make up for just 5 percent of Indian population but have 12 percent of total mobile subscriber base.

A Circle has 34 percent mobile subscribers.B circle has 39 percent and C Circle has 15 percent.

How the MNP will impact the major telecom players like Airtel, Vodaphone, and Idea which account for 64 percent of total mobile connections will be visible once we get the report of MNP requests status in August 2015 after one month is over for Pan India MNP.  Though it is expected that smaller players with lesser circles will eventually lose out customers to big players but the real impact will be seen over a six months to one year period once we see full cycle of movements of various customers across the country and which operator they change to which they hold on to while moving from one circle to the other. The National MNP will hasten the process of Mergers and Acquisitions and over a period of 12-24 months we will see a lot of activity in this space in telecom market.

Again we are not yet sure how the operators would charge customers when on roaming with full MNP if client had moved from one operator to other…

I am not sure  of call charges of outgoing or even incoming if a subscriber of an operator goes to region where the operator has no spectrum thus is roaming in other operators area and ports the number to the other operator for certain time till he is in the other circle.

Are we going to see and get required guidelines for pan India MNP for customers as to the DOs and DONTs?

As the country progresses more we see more movement from rural to urban areas for greener pastures. Thus Movements from Circle C to B to A to Metro not necessarily in the same order but definitely from lower segment to higher segment.

National MNP

How the Mobile operators with less circles or coverage innovate themselves and provide roaming at best possible costs and offset those costs while the user is in their original circle will decide the fate.

Large operators would like to have higher numbers but they also would be keener to get better ARPU users to add to their network. So they can be choosy and see which market they are keep to hit first due to All India MNP.

Thus these are very early days to comment on the impact of National MNP but signs are visible and writing is on the wall for all to see and prepare accordingly.

From the Government perspective, there would be more clarity on the number of active users as a whole and then for each operator during any given period but then there is another issue which will keep cropping up is that the change of operator will have duplicity of data and records .one customer will have similar records with multiple operator once he has used MNP and thus so will government.

From security perspective nothing much changes though manageability of data becomes tad difficult.

From Telecom operators revenue perspective, they stand to lose around 3000 crore per annum and so the eventually the government will also lose out on the taxes and other revenues from the telecom companies.

Let’s see what impact will it have on users:

Critical question to ask is how many users are on roaming, the data says just about 11 percent of total mobile users and even out of this 90 percent are or would be from Metro/A circles and postpaid premium customers who make up about 1/4th of their revenues.

Thus these clients will see their roaming costs reduced but again majority of these are paid by their companies.

I don’t really see much impact of Nationwide MNP on Indian consumers as such.  This was story of Too Much Hype with Too Little Gains for the Consumers as 90 percent of Indian consumers are pre-paid subscribers…

What do you think how will this impact Indian consumers and the telecom market over a period of say 12-24 months??

I am very keen to get the perspective of professionals across board..those who roam a lot and those who don’t….

Basant Tomar

Basant Tomar is a sales and business development expert with over 12 years of experience in Indian and international markets.

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