China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has completed its tests in Tianjin and will start the trial operation of the mobile phone number portability service from October 2010.
The mobile phone number portability service allows users of a telecom operator to change their mobile communication service providers and enjoy the services of the new providers without the change of their original mobile phone numbers.
Tianjin Communication Administration said that MIIT and the relevant personnel in Tianjin have had a meeting about the portable number issue and the results have been submitted to the higher authorities. A plan for the detailed schedule for the working procedure of the trial of number portability service is expected to be launched by MIIT around August 20, 2010. The trial operation of the service is expected to be launched in Tianjin in October 2010.
Under the pilot program previously formulated by MIIT, the commercial trial of the mobile phone number portability service will be divided into three stages. During the first year of the trial, mobile phone users can switch from networks of more competitive operators to those of less competitive operators. For example, China Mobile's 2G users can switch to China Unicom and China Telecom's 2G networks; China Unicom's 2G users can switch to China Telecom's 2G network; and China Unicom and China Telecom's 3G users can switch to China Mobile's 3G network.
During the second year of the trial, the 2G users of the three operators can switch to the 2G networks of their counterparts without limits.
During the third year, the 3G users of China Unicom and China Telecom can switch to the 3G networks of their counterparts, but 3G users of China Mobile are not allowed to change their mobile communication service providers without the change of mobile numbers.