After missing the deadline several times, the Department of Telecommunications is now taking tough steps towards mobile operators in order to implement mobile number portability (MNP) in the country. The government has finally announced that non-MNP compliant telecom operators would not be allowed to launch commercial service in any service area. ). Portability would allow a cellphone user to retain his number even when he switches over to another service provider in the same circle. In a statement issued to telcos, the government clearly notes “It has been decided by the competent authority that permission to launch commercial service in any service area with effect from 1st September, 2010 shall be given only to those licensees who are MNP compliant.” Any licensee to whom permission for commercial launch of service has been granted has also to be MNP compliant along with existing service providers, said DoT. This move may, however, restrict or delay launch of new services, including the most-awaited 3G services. Most of the leading telecom players are all set to launch 3G services by the year-end; whereas several new telecom players are also in the process to roll out their networks in various parts of the country. This new conditions may adversely affect these players. DoT further said for the purpose of being MNP-ready, it may be ensured that inter-operator test for porting, as well as call scenario test, has been completed.