MNP in India is a flop because the country has just 2 percent of portability requests, which is among the lowest in the world. This is strange because 97 percent of the subscriber base of mobile customers in India is prepaid which means MNP is easy to implement in India compared to other countries, where postpaid subscriber percentage is much.
The recent hike in mobile tariff wouldn’t have happened if MNP had worked in India as it was supposed to. Mobile operators have influenced a 20 percent hike in mobile tariffs. If Mobile Number Portability in India was going great guns, then they would have never increased the cost for the fear of losing their subscriber base. But now they have threatened to cause another hike in mobile tariffs on the pretext of increased costs for giving coverage to rural areas.
Since the time Mobile Number Portability in India was launched in November 2010, ONLY the number of requests have only been 18.1 million till August 2011. This is just 2 percent as mentioned before, of the Indian mobile subscriber base of 865.71 million customers.
If you look at the pattern of MNP in other parts of the world and India, you will find a major difference. In countries like the USA, UK etc, people move from the large players to the new ones in the market possibly due to high bills or bad service. But in India, subscribers move only from one large player in the mobile operator market to the other big fish, new entrants do not get a chance to prove themselves. Uninor is the only new mobile network in India which has benefitted from Mobile Number Portability. Here people like to either stick to their old network and compromise and not experiment with a new network because of fear of legal complications, bad customer service, procedural issues etc.