MNP for Mobile Phone Subscribers

Portability: That's what they're waiting for!

Photo by Juicyrai

PortabilityThat’s what they’re waiting for!

Today, mobile phones have become inevitable in one’s life. We’ve seen it grow from a mere luxury to now a necessity. The transformation in the lifestyle of we, the people is a major reason for this change. What started with a several bucks for incoming call has moved on to a plethora of plans which have free outgoing calls today.

The telecom sector has had a great time in the past 10 years. Early players have minted a huge sum of money already despite the licensing fee they would have paid to get into the play-field. From just 40.6 million mobile phone users in Spetember’2004, India is to have over 650 million users by 2012, as predicted by the Indian prime minister last year.

Admist all the number games, an acronym which is of more interest to the mobile phone subscribers is MNP or the well known and self explanatory, Mobile Number Portability.

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

A large percentage of mobile users are willing to switch to a different service provider but cannot afford to change their phone numbers. MNP is for them. The latest news in this context was DoT’s notification on rolling out MNP by September’2009 in Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat which form Zone I and Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka of Zone 2 within the following 6 months.

MNP is active in countries like Australia, Denmark and Sweden since 2001. Even Saudi Arabia has it since the year 2006.

On researching about the delay in MNP getting introduced in India, despite the country being one of the largest in terms of mobile phone subscribers, I could infer to some surprising insights. A well known telecom blog owner and digital media reporter called it to be a delay due to a major telecom waiting to roll over the ramp before MNP kicks off. Looking at the repeated extensions of the MNP roll out, the statements appear to have a cause.

The irony is, there is no single service provider which the people wish to stick to. There are people who are running on a provider A and wish to move to provider B. On the contrary, a lot of subscribers from provider B wish to move to provider A. Hence, if MNP is to help the subscribers in general, it would do so by creating a competitive environment amongst the players in terms of network, plans, etc.

It would be a great watch to see a country like India rolling out MNP and how do subscribers react to the same. Which provider is to suffer the most with this move and which one is to be the top gainer? Another important segment would be the CDMA v/s GSM services and the fate of the players which operate in both the technologies.

A lot of questions shall remained unanswered until we see the DoT notification implemented, without any further delay.

ActionScript 3 API Reference for the iPhone

ActionScript 3 API Reference for the iPhoneMike Chamber’s got a nice iPhone app — a handy ActionScript 3 API reference.

“The ActionScript 3 API Reference is a free iPhone application that provides a quick and convenient method for accessing the ActionScript 3 API class reference documentation.”

From Mike Chamber’s site;

Funambol – An Open Source alternative to MobileMe

Funambol Mobile 2.0 Messaging Powered by Open Source

Image from Funambol

FunambolMobile 2.0 Messaging Powered by Open Source.

If you’re lucky enough to have grabbed an iPhone 3G, MobileMe would certainly be one of the apps you’d be considering to dirty your hands with, if at all you need the sync-everything-everywhere service. Though you can use it with an iPod, Mac or PC, but having an hands on with it over an iPhone would be sheer fun! For the Indians, the day for iPhone 3G launch is not far!

But for the individuals who would not like to shell out $99 per year for MobileMe, we would advocate trying out a free & open source alternative to MobileMe — Funambol.

Ever since the WWDC keynote, there has been a lot of fuss about Funambol, for it being free and open source.

Funambol App sync

Funambol is a free & open-source mobile sync software for email, contacts and calendars. It is known to work with Exchange, POP, IMAP and Domino email servers. Funambol hosts its own synchronization servers on myFunambol, which supports MS Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. One of the greatest feature is that Funambol is based on the SyncML (OMA DS) standard for data synchronization which is built into many mobile phones. This enables Funambol to support over 1.5 billion devices. All for free!

It even works on the jail-broken models of iPhone. Funambol’s jailbroken iPhone app has already been downloaded more than a million times!

Let us see what does Funambol feature:

  1. Funambol provides industry solutions for several types of organizations, including — service providers, OEMs, ISVs, and ODMs and enterprises.
  2. Push email for the mass market.
  3. Mobile backup and PIM synchronization.
  4. Mobile Device Management Framework.
  5. Mobilizing Data & Applications via an Open Source Platform.

Funambol on the iPhone

One of the key outcomes of this product being open-source is that there is a lot of avenue for other developers from building varied services on the underlying synchronization engine. Keep an eye on the future developments.

Funambol has a huge community of users, so support shall never be an issue. However, if you wish to have dedicated support from the Funambol team, you may purchase support from them.

I would highly recommend trying Funambol, even if you’re in love with mobileme. Do post your feedbacks with this free service.

Nokia skeptical of mobile-startups but hand-shake with big Corps

“The Business-Simplified” print version from Hindustan Times – Mint, carried an article today of Nokia’s skeptical view towards investments in mobile startups. BlueRun Ventures is a Menlo Park (CA, USA) and is backed by one of the world’s largest handset maker – Nokia. Being backed up Nokia, the viable notion is that they will be more towards mobile and mobile startups but the irony is they are indeed backing away from the mobile sector, specially from startups that targets the mobile value-added services (VAS).
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