Mobile Number Portability delayed, Himachalis not motivated to switch mobile operators

The much awaited Mobile Number Portability, a technology which allows a mobile phone user to retain the mobile number even after changing to another mobile operator, has been postponed by 3 months and will be introduced to the consumers by 30th June, 2010.

According to a study conducted by AC Nielsen to gauge consumer attitudes and behaviour towards mobile operators in India, it was found that close to one in five (18%) Indian mobile phone subscribers would change their mobile operator if Mobile Number Portability is introduced into the market.

More than half (55%) of all respondents were generally satisfied with their mobile operator and 48 percent were satisfied with the network quality. However, satisfaction scores on network quality dropped for almost all operators, with Airtel, BSNL and Reliance registering the greatest drops. 46 percent were satisfied with the network coverage area of their operator and 43 percent were satisfied with the price they paid for the mobile phone service by their operator.

Prepaid, low and medium spend users are not motivated to switch. Postpaid subscribers have almost double the minutes of usage compared to pre-paid subscribers and the incidence of data application usage is also higher among postpaid and high spenders. Vodafone has the highest postpaid subscriber base in India.

Loyalty to operators is seen to be higher among lower socio-economic groups, older age groups, and among females. The circles in which subscribers are more likely to shift are Mumbai and Delhi Metro, UP East and West, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Rest of West Bengal (does not include Kolkata Metro).

Circles in which subscribers show higher retention levels are Chennai Metro, Haryana, Punjab, UP East, Rest of Maharashtra (does not include Mumbai Metro), Rest of Tamil Nadu (does not include Chennai Metro), Bihar, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh.

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