Now, mobile number portability for just 50
Mumbai: A widget from China priced at just 50 may soon make the Indian government's dithering on number portability for four years meaningless, and may erode profitability of operators like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, reports Economic Times. A very tiny device called 'dual sim card holder' can be placed under the battery of the mobile phone which has a provision to hold another sim card, and can be activated whenever there is a need to call. This helps in retaining the existent number in use for many years and subscribe to a new operator who is giving away outgoing calls almost for free. It eliminates the strain of carrying two mobile phones, and the device can be used in most of the low-to-middle-end models of any handset maker. "The lack of institutional mechanisms to partake low price tariffs is motivating consumers to employ ingenious approaches to avail of lower tariffs. Launch of mobile number portability (MNP) in the near future will hopefully address this unsatisfied consumer demand," said Ascentius Consulting Principal Analyst, Alok Shende. This is available at any local phone recharge outlet, for 50 to 200, depending on the handset model. One such product is called the Yutong Doublecard, which comes with six months of guarantee. "We source it from bulk dealers, who in turn procure it from Chinese manufacturers," says a Kanpur based online retailer Gyan Chand who has sold thousands of units in the past few months. Payment can be made online, or by depositing money into any State Bank of India branch. Established companies may not be comfortable with number portability as customers could switch to new service providers where tariff is low and the network is not congested. "This is incrementally negative for the Indian telecom operators as they compete with each other on pricing to garner a higher share of MoU per subscriber using multiple SIMs," said Macquarie Equities Research Analyst, Shubham Majumder.