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CRBT and Mobile Number portability

CRBT ( Caller Ring Back Tone) has been very successful in Mobile VAS (Value Added Service) industry ( specially in India, where it is said to generate almost 60% of the total revenue). There has been few discussions how CRBT will work when MNP ( Mobile Number Portability) is implemented in India. There has been few deadlines to implement MNP in India which were extended and now we have anew deadline of 31st October 2010 for its implementation.

What is MNP ?

Mobile Number portability ( MNP ) is a feature or facility using which a mobile phone user can change their network operator on choice or on requirement. For example, if a person takes telephone connection from Airtel in India, and after few months, (s)he wants to switch to Reliance, he would be able to that without having to change the mobile number. Without MNP, it is not possible to switch your operator even if you are dissatisfied with them for any reason.

Many unsatisfied users have to stick to its operator as changing phone number is not an option as it gets circulated over a period of time. So MNP offers them a solution.

Many people change cities and when they want to keep their old mobile number, thy have to pay roaming charges. MNP will be a solution for them.

How does MNP affect CRBT in India ?

In India, CRBT services are provided by third party ( normally VAS company) to the telecom operator. It has been a practice that, telecom operators have engaged only one vendor (A VAS company) for its CRBT services. BSNL ( Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Indian Government owned telecom service provider) has divided itself into four zones and it has engaged separate vendors.

Most of the CRBT implementation in India is IN-based, so technically the porting CRBT application to MNP may not be difficult. Also, when a CRBT subscriber changes its operator, it may want to retain his song/tone in his new operator too. Now some problems may come up,

1. The new operator may not have the same CRBT vendor of the old one. How will these two CRBT vendors exchange their subscriber details ?

2. The CRBT vendor of the new operator may not have the same song/music in its song collections.

But, in a multi-vendor scenario like in BSNL, these problems may be more difficult to tackle.

Technically, it may be possible to overcome these problems, but apart from technical issues, I think there are also commercial issues like subscription charges, billing cycle etc.

It will be interesting to know about effect on CRBT by implementing MNP in India. Easiest way might be, just discontinue the CRBT service in old operator and subscribe it again in the new operator!

I would like to have feedback, comments fro people in CRBT industry in India.

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