Mobile Number Portability in South Asia

42 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010

Date Written: 2010


Mobile Number portability (MNP), a feature present in most developed telecom markets around the world, is now making its way into the developing telecom markets of South Asia. Unlike the conditions that exist in the mature environments of the western world, however, market structures, pricing mechanisms and even customer phone use behaviours are vastly different in the emerging South Asian markets. As such, the preconditions necessary for the success of this service and its potential implications will be largely different in this region.

The paper explores Pakistan’s experience in introducing MNP and will investigate the suitability of introducing the same in India and other emerging South Asian microstates such as the Maldives. The paper will also consider how phone subscribers at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) and the impact of the low-cost, low-ARPU pricing model implemented in South Asia will affect porting rates. The study will be mainly based on secondary data collection (existing reports, market trends and opinions of key stakeholders) while the BOP data will be sourced from LIRNEasia’s large sample study, carried out in six-countries in 2008.

Keywords: mobile number portability, preconditions, policy implications, Pakistan, India, Maldives

Suggested Citation

Iqbal, Tahani, Mobile Number Portability in South Asia (2010). Available at SSRN: or

Tahani Iqbal (Contact Author)

Research Fellow ( email )

12, Balcomb Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka

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