A story that extensively draws on LIRNEasia research by Voice and Data has coined a new and probably more appropriate term for MNP: not mobile number portability but multiple number possession.
MNP seems to be another case of applying Western regulatory instruments without looking at the actual context and needs. In the interview, I said that I too had favored MNP in the old days, but that the results of the Teleuse @ BOP surveys, especially the qualitative studies shows we need to rethink. If we are implementing number portability (which could be useful for corporates and high-end customers) we need to ensure that the costs of portability are assigned to those who cause them and not the operator who is losing the customer.
The simple fact that multiple SIM ownership has increased in Pakistan which was the first in the region to implement MNP should suggest something.
Interestingly, in the neighbouring Pakistan that has already implemented MNP, about 25% Bottom of Pyramid users have multiple SIMs. Analysts say that multiple SIMs have more than one benefits. It fulfills the need of deriving the maximum benefit from each operator, and also the need to have separate private numbers. Porting is not a very simple way. Since one may not actually need different handsets to change SIM, while to save cost users don’t mind that.