Mobile Number Portability (MNP) allows Mobile subscribers to change their service provider while retaining their subscriber number. Portability benefits subscribers and increases the level of competition between service providers, rewarding those operators having better customer service, network coverage, and service quality.

There are three basic feature of Mobile number portability: • Location portability. • Service portability. • Operator portability.

The ability of a subscriber to retain an existing Mobile number, when shifting from one circle to another keeping the operator same as before.

It is the ability of a subscriber to retain the existing Mobile number when changing from one service to another service, say from GSM to CDMA services.

This is the ability of a subscriber to retain within the same service area, an existing Mobile number even if they change from one service provider/operator to another.

MNP IN INDIA(expected at the end of 2009)
• To give mobile phone users or end users the ability to change operators while retaining their existing numbers • Three basic types of number portability: service, location and operator portability • Regulator to play an important role. • Neutral third party shall establish logically centralized database with not more than 5 regionally located databases.

(Operator’s & VAS provider’s perspective) •MNP is finally set to hit the Indian market by the end of 2009. •Once operators become replaceable and number portability becomes a reality, two things would come under focus-service quality and value added services provided by operators. •Some operators are really excited about this model, on the other hand, VAS players believe that MNP will have some positive impact on the VAS ecosystem.

•This would make the entire system very interesting and competitive wherein performance would be the key player.
•MNP would affect the revenue sharing pattern between operators and VAS players, because operators would be ready to pay high prices for exclusive content in order to attract more and more customers to their brand.

From Customer’s Perspective:
•It will not only allow subscribers to retain number while changing operators, but also to retain number while switching over from CDMA to GSM platform or vice versa.

•More choice means improved customer service and reduced cost to the subscriber •Introduces competition in saturated markets

• Results in more effective use of numbering resources • A win-win situation for a customer

• Handsets ‘locked’ to networks will incur additional costs

Terms used in number portability
•Donor network •Originating network •Recipient network •Database •Routing number

Technical solutions
• Deciding between different technical options requires consideration of a whole range of issues: including interconnection between networks , call charging arrangements , operational support system modifications , routing arrangements in the National Numbering Plan etc.

• In order to arrive at a suitable technical solution,there are broadly two methods available for routing of calls in a mobile number portability environment: • Direct routing(also known as All call query). • Interdependent routing.(Three types)

Interdependent routing type
• Onward routing: The donor network identifies the correct terminating mobile network and routes the call onward to that network . • Call drop back: The Donor network after confirming that the number is ported, releases the call back to the originating network together with information identifying the correct terminating network .

Interdependent routing cont…

The Donor network after confirming that the number is ported, returns a message to the originating network indicating that the number has moved. The originating network then queries a database to obtain information identifying the correct terminating network.

Some points to know before going to the diagram
• NPDP-Number portability database: a) Centralized b) Internal • -------:Signaling path porting enquiry • Recipient-Terminating network • Also focus is to find correct terminating network where calls to be routed.

• The various technical options related to the implementation of MNP mentioned above involve the use of databases that contain routing information. The databases can be centralized or distributed.

• The database at circle/metro-wise is easier to implement from the angle of scalability, connectivity by the networks of the operators. The cost of connectivity to the database will also be less in this approach. • The national level database could be a single point of contact to ported numbers. However, the Implementation of such a nation-wide database raise concerns regarding scalability, performance and availability.

Coming to the conclusion of routing..
The Direct routing solution / All Call Query is perceived as a long-term solution for number portability whereas Call Forwarding solution was adopted initially when the estimated number of portings are less. • The key advantage of Direct routing (or All Call Query) is that it does not increase network congestion between originating operator and the donor operator as the ported calls are directly routed to recipient network.

Conclusion continues
• this method eliminates dependence on the donor network operator, thereby providing the ability to maintain portability in the event of donor network operator’s failure or exit from business. Therefore, direct routing is considered as more optimized with more efficient call routing.

DoT has issued mobile number portability details and the first phase will be rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by end of, 2009.

• From a consumer standpoint, the entire process of porting a number should not take more than two (2) working days, with a two (2) hour break in service. Rs 300 will be charged.

•More than 90% of Indian mobile users are on prepaid connections and do not have number loyalty (~churn rate of 4% on monthly basis) •Operators will add a lot more nuances (for instance, time bound etc) to ensure that switching cost/experience is fairly high (as ARPU is sliding). •. The service providers are not keen on its introduction as that would require a substantial investment in upgrades to the routing and the billing mechanisms. •The cumulative losses for the Indian GSM mobile players would be around Rs 8,000 crore and increased investments could mean more bad debt.



SMS Management for MNP
In GSM MAP responsibility for SM delivery to a mobile customer lies at all times with the originating SMSC, and can not be passed to any other SMSC. The general architecture for inter-carrier SMS via GSM MAP is shown in the Figures 1 and 2, and can be used in any of the following cases:

National GSM to national GSM

International GSM to national GSM

Routing principles
 The GSM MAP routing principles will ensure that under a MNP environment: (a) messages are routed directly to the correct recipient network (for nationally originated SMS); (b) messages are routed to the network holding the number block allocation of the destination number (only for internationally originated SMS) and (c) circular routing is avoided.

 The plan presumes that messages originated from an international network to ported numbers will be delivered via donor based routing, as international networks cannot be expected to access an Australian mobile number portability database prior to routing the message.  When porting occurs across GSM and CDMA technologies, SMS can not be fully supported using donor based routing. Delivery between the originating and donor carrier, or donor and terminating carrier may not be supported, even if delivery between the originating and terminating carrier is supported. Therefore donor based routing using GSM MAP can not deliver equivalent service.

Traffic case Donor based routing Direct routing GSM MAP Routing Cases  It should be noted that a customer with a ported number will be able to receive an internationally originated SM only from the common international roaming partners of the donor and recipient network, where connectivity between donor and recipient exists – see Appendix A. Addressing across point of interconnection  The number structure used for the addressing across the Point of Interconnection (POI) must be in the international format as defined in ITU-T Recommendation E.164.

Two cases arise where unsuccessful delivery is due to the implementation of MNP. The error codes that apply to each case are as follows: (a) SM delivery to a mobile number ported to a network where there is no inter-carrier SMS connectivity will be unsuccessful. The error code to be returned to the originating SMSC shall be any permanent error code from the pertinent specification. (b) Due to the misalignment of data in routing databases, sendRoutingInfoForShortMsg and setMessageWaitingData message may be delivered to the wrong network after the originating network has performed a lookup. The receiving network can deal with the error on either MAP or SCCP level. The MAP level error treatments must follow ETS 300 536: October 1996 (GSM 03.40 v 4.13.0). The SCCP level error treatment must follow ITU-T SCCP suite of specifications.

What is ClearingHouse?
• The Centralized Clearinghouse is a message processing system through which service providers communicate using the same set of rules for handling porting requests and exchanging information required for porting numbers. • This centralized clearing house will be managed by third party to avoid conflict of interest. • The Number Portability Database will have the mobile numbers of all mobile users. • All mobile service providers will then link their networks with that of the MCHAs(Mobile Number Portability Clearing House Administrator) and NPDB(National Portability Database).

Role Of ClearingHouse
• National Number Portability Clearing House a regulatory body responsible for managing port-in/out numbers across the operators in India. • It maintains a database with Port-In/Out information across the country / operators. • It also maintains historical trail of porting for audit trail. • This database is pushed / pulled into ‘Reference Database’ also called ‘Routing Database’ which will assist network elements (MSC) to direct each call to their respective telecom operator (servicing that number).

Role Of ClearingHouse

• Subscriber contacts new operators and asks his number to be ported • New operator submits number port request to clearing house • The clearing house informs the old operator • Clearing house informs all operators that the number is ported • Number Portability Database will have all mobile numbers.

Notification Process – Once porting window is closed, notification needs to be broadcasted to: • Subscriber (activation of new service) • All Mobile Operators (National) • All Fixed-line Operators (National) • National Long Distance (NLD) • International Long Distance (ILD) • Content Providers (VAS)

MCHA in India
• Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has chosen two providers –Syniverse Technologies and Telcordia Technologies - for the implementing MNP. • Both the companies will provide solutions for 11 circles each of the total 22 circles in the country. • Syniverse:-North & West. • Telcordia:-South & East.

MNP Implementation Factors
• How high is demand for MNP from both subscribers and operators? • How big is market size? Is it below the minimum threshold market size? • What is the level of competition? How mature is the market? • What kind of pricing model is in place? • Will MNP spur further competition? • How strong and independent is the regulating body?

MNP Global Success

Success Factors Study
Date of impleme Country ntation Time to port Australia Finland Hong Kong Sweden U.K Oct-01 3 hours 5 Aug-03 working Days User cha rge (US First $) contact Publicity NRA publicity at 6.25 Recipient start Actively marketed Recipient by Operators Actively marketed by NRA and new Recipient operators

Mar-99 1 -2 days 10 working Aug-01 days Variable Recipient Some 5 Jan-99 working Days 2.5 Donor Minimal

Success Factors.
What is success? High porting rates Success is achieved through: • Low porting times • Almost zero costs to customers • Publicity by regulators • Simple for subscriber • Entrance of new or disruptive competition

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