MNP requests rising: Average mobile number portability requests hovering over 8 million per month since July

By: |
December 30, 2020 8:15 AM

As per industry watchers, Vodafone Idea is the worst affected company in terms of MNP as it has been steadily losing subscribers every month.

Ever since the lockdown was lifted in June across the country, the MNP requests have been rising continuously.

It seems that mobile subscribers are fast changing their network provider as since July, the average mobile number portability (MNP) requests per month are hovering over 8 million against normal range of 4-5 million per month. The increased number of MNP can be attributed to the prevalence of work from home (WFH) as subscribers relocate to their hometowns and porting to an operator of their choice, that has better network there.

According to data gathered from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the highest ever MNP requests in a month were witnessed in March 2018 at 19.67 million. Before that, November 2017 saw 15.99 million MNP requests while October 2017 witnessed 9.60 million requests. During that time, the increased number was attributed to the launch of Jio phone, which ruled the feature phone market for a few quarters.

Ever since the lockdown was lifted in June across the country, the MNP requests have been rising continuously. For instance, in July MNP requests increased to 7.53 million, the highest seen since March 2018. In August also, the number was 7.53 million, which increased to 8.71 million in September and 8.80 million in October. Analysts feel that this trend is likely to continue in the near future.

As per industry watchers, Vodafone Idea is the worst affected company in terms of MNP as it has been steadily losing subscribers every month. As per Motilal Oswal, the continuous loss of subscribers by the company can be attributed to its weak network capabilities and speculation around its business continuity (given its massive outstanding AGR dues).

Bharti Airtel has been a net gainer in terms of MNP as also Reliance Jio. But the ongoing farmers’ protest is going to have an impact on Reliance Jio, specially in Punjab and Haryana circles. As per industry sources, in November and December, Jio has been witnessing three times port-out requests in these circles due to the negative sentiment. The farmer groups have also targeted the telecom towers of Jio in these states.

To grab mobile customers, the mobile firms are offering a set of incentives to the dealers. The companies are also offering cashbacks to customers in case they opt to join their network. The incentives and cashbacks vary with telecom circles.

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