Companies & Sectors
Telecoms to roll out full number portability from July 3
Telecom service providers were on Thursday all set to roll out pan-India mobile number portability (MNP) from July 3 in line with the government mandate, thus enabling customers across the country to retain their mobile phone numbers while relocating between states.
 
Prominent telecom service providers -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and MTS India -- confirmed they would implement full MNP from July 3 -- the deadline laid down by the Department of Telecom.
 
"Today, not only has mobile phone become an essential part of our lives, but also the mobile number has equally become an indispensable identification for each one of us. With our complete readiness to launch MNP, we aim to empower customers to retain this identity as they move anywhere in the country," said Ajai Puri, director, market operations, Bharti Airtel.
 
"To facilitate a seamless transition, we will also allow our customers to enjoy free incoming on roaming while their number portability request is being processed," he added.
 
"MNP service allows the customers to carry their existing numbers across India and also choose the operators of their choice. Vodafone has benefited from the intra-circle MNP rolled out in 2011. We look forward to a similar response this time," Vivek Mathur, chief commercial officer, Vodafone India, said.
 
Vodafone India has a pan-India base of over 184 million customers serviced through a network of more than 130,000 sites, of which over 35,000 are 3G sites.
 
"RCOM (Reliance Communications) is ready to roll out mobile number portability nationally from July 3, 2015 onwards, and this will allow our customers to retain their mobile numbers in any part of the country and continue to enjoy our best-in-class network and services," a Reliance Communications spokesperson said.
 
"Reliance Communications will also be offering attractive and aggressive plans for both its pre-paid and post-paid customers, as well as customers porting in from other networks, to ensure that this is a seamless and easy transition," the spokesperson added.
 
Similarly, MTS India said the company was fully geared up to comply with the deadline.
 
"The move will enable MTS India to quickly and efficiently process all number portability requests. The implementation of MNP is bound to set new benchmarks in customer service standards within the Indian telecom sector," an MTS India spokesperson said.
 
Idea Cellular claimed it was the MNP leader with over 14 million net gain of customers so far, through intra-circle MNP services.
 
"As a result of Idea's growing network presence, focus on customer-centricity, and a strong brand-connect with the audience, our MNP leadership has grown consistently ever since our services were launched in 2011," said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular.
 
"We are confident that the strong brand stickiness and growing preference will continue to benefit us as we now extend this service on a pan-India basis, enabling users switching cities to retain their numbers," he added.

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Kamath leaves ICICI, set to join BRICS bank
The ICICI Bank on Thursday said its non-executive chairman K.V. Kamath has relinquished his position to take over as the head of the BRICS' New Development Bank (NDB).
 
"Effective close of business hours on June 30, K.V. Kamath ... has relinquished office consequent on his nomination and acceptance of full-time executive position based in Shanghai as the president of the New Development Bank," ICICI Bank said in a stock exchange filing.
 
The bank said it has appointed M.K. Sharma as non-executive part-time chairman for three years, effective July 1, post approval by the Reserve Bank of India.
 
Kamath will be the first head of NDB set up by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping.
 
Last week, Kamath said the NDB was looking to consider some Indian infrastructure projects for funding when it starts functioning next April.
 
"I hope to work with BRICS and other member countries over the next few months so as to build project pipelines by April 2016.
 
"I am engaged with the government to ensure that there are some Indian projects in the infrastructure space that can be taken up then," Kamath said at a Confederation of Indian Industry meeting here.

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Greece in billions of financing gap over next 3 years: IMF
Financing needs for Greece could add up to over $55.42 billion (50 billion euros) over the period from October 2015 to end 2018 in order to keep the country afloat, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a staff report.
 
The IMF's warning on Thursday came before Greece's upcoming referendum on July 5. Although the Greek government stressed the referendum was on its creditors' offer for a reforms-for-cash debt deal, skepticism and strong reactions that the referendum could lead to Grexit was also widespread in Greece.
 
The report said Greece is unlikely to close its financing gaps from the markets on terms consistent with debt sustainability.
 
It slashed Greece's economic growth forecast in 2015 to zero percent, compared to a growth of 0.8 percent in 2014.
 
The estimate of the additional 50 billion euros in funding, including 36 billion euros from EU lenders, was based on the assumption that existing support from the EU and IMF would continue through this summer.
 
The report was prepared before the Greek authorities have closed the banking sector, imposed capital controls, and incurred arrears to the IMF and did not reflect these developments, which the IMF believe are likely to have a significant adverse economic and financial impact.
 
In May 2010, the IMF approved 30 billion euros in financial assistance for Greece under a Stand-By arrangement, and then in March 2012, the lender approved 28 billion euros for Greece under an extended arrangement to support its economic reform program.
 
To date, Greece has 21.2 billion euros in outstanding obligations to the IMF. A repayment of about 1.5 billion euros was due to the IMF on June 30. Greece did not make the repayment when due and is now in arrears to the Washington-based lender, which makes Greece the first advanced economy default on IMF debt. 

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