State-run telecom company Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. lost 10,355 users since the launch of mobile number portability, or MNP, junior Telecom Minister Sachin Pilot said Wednesday.

But MTNL gained 4,486 new users from other telecom companies through MNP, a service that allows mobile phone users to switch their service providers without changing their numbers, Pilot told lawmakers in the lower house of the parliament.

MNP service was launched on Nov. 25 in the northern Indian state of Haryana, and subsequently extended it across the country on Jan. 20. MTNL provides communications services only in the Delhi and Mumbai service areas.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. lost 223,824 users to other mobile phone companies post the launch of MNP, and gained 92,243 new users from others, Pilot said.

BSNL offers services in the remaining of 20 of India’s 22 telecom service areas.

“The main reasons for porting out [switching from] have been reported to be network/coverage issues, tariff issues…,” the minister said.

Pilot said that BSNL has waived off an INR19 fee for users opting to change their service provider to the company, formed special cells to address user grievances, introduced competitive tariff plans, and also has given additional incentives for its distributors and retailers selling its services.

MTNL has also waived off the fee for users in Mumbai, introduced competitive tariffs and improved its mobile phone network coverage and capacity to retain old users and add new subscribers, the minister said.

From www.totaltele.com