3 things I was waiting for: Number portability, broadcasters not controlling distribution, ban on cheque drop boxes


Something like this has happened few days ago where I had 3 WTF moments in the business world. One of them was the $10 laptop (oops electronic brick)  Today’s 3 things are little different and are actually useful. All in a day’s work.

Mobile number portability could soon be a reality. Starting August 1, 2009, four metros will have the option to switch to a different vendor without losing the number. This is a godsend for the current state of customer affairs in India. But, the problem is just like our political system we don’t know whom to vote for. We just have to pick the lesser evil. cheque_drop_box

The service will be rolled to rest of the country in 6-12 months from the first rollout in metros. The service provider who will facilitate the number portability will not have equity in any of the existing telecom providers and vice versa. This will rule out the potential conflict of interest while migrating.

RBI has issued guidelines to the banks that the customers should not be forced to drop the cheques into the drop boxes. It is about time something like this has come up –Thank you RBI. The busy or lazy operator at the counter would point you directly to the cheque box, as if I am aware of the convenience. I am always skeptical about those drop boxes. Sometimes when you drop the cheque with the pay-in slip you don’t even have the proof.

I always insist on the receipt of the cheque as I will have some proof. There is another funny thing about the amount of the cheque. If it is a big amount cheque then they will give us a receipt. If it is not then you have to use the drop box. This kind of behavior is rude. It really doesn’t matter if you are under-staffed. You give the same amount of respect to a cheque of a 1 rupee as you give to that of 1 crore.

Broadcasters cannot control the distribution. The ownership is made partial with a cap of 20%. A broadcasting company like SunTV cannot have more than 20% stake in the DTH distribution of SunDirect. Companies have 3 years to restructure to this guideline.

There will 2 companies, which are directly affected. DishTV the DTH arm of Subash Chandra’s Essel Group (Zee TV) is one and the other is Sun Direct of Sun Direct, owned by the Maran’s of Chennai. BigTV, which is planning to launch its own channels, might have this in the back of their mind before they launch it.

Tata Sky, Airtel DTH do not have any broadcasting which means they will not be affected. The respective companies will find a way to circumvent. A nice move by the TRAI as the broadcasters have the tendency to carefully packages the products in such a way that the competitors channels are totally eliminated.

I have listed down the events in the order of their usefulness.

Image source

  1. Sriram Vadlamani says

    @Amit : IDEA’s ads are always little ahead of its time, but very good and relevant.

    I would be glad that this number portability is implemented by the end of this year. I have seen too many things fall behind and just don’t expect things to happen as fast as the do in the Kingdom.

  2. Amit says

    Just recently, I switched my mobile service to a different operator and got my number ported in 2 days! This was in the UK and it’s high time that such a thing becomes a reality in India. The whole point of “Idea” (referring to the mobile network) advertising campaign is to identify an individual with his unique mobile number.

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