Caution: Highly Geeky stuff.
One problem faced by all the current cellphone users in India is that of changing the mobile service provider. Because if you change the service, the number changes. And it means sending out dozens of SMSes and calling up n-number of people and asking them to take the new number.
And there I was sitting on my chair thinking about nothing when I struck upon an analogy. The Mobile Number – Internet Domain analogy.
When we have a website on the internet, we have two components.
1. Buy and register a domain name
(for eg. www.drumster.com)
2. Buy server space, also known as webhosting.
The next step would be to link the domain name with the web-hosting that you have bought using a unique DNS address, this is also known as DNS forwarding. This essentially means that you have the flexibility of changing the webhosting as and when you like to. The users of your website and your friends do not have to worry about where your site is hosted. All they have to do is type the URL and they are ready to go.
Coming back to the topic at hand, why cant we have the same system for mobile phones?? We have a central server which stores all the mobile numbers and then we have different service providers which are called with a unique ID. Users can register their phone number once with the server. The next time whenever they need to change the service all they have to do is point the number to that provider.
This would ensure the following:
1. Users are relieved of the pain to stick with the same provider.
2. It would boost competetion between the operators, knowing that users can now easily switch operators, and bring another round of tariff-cuts.
3. The users can be charged a very nominal yearly fee for keeping the same number, like Rs. 100 or so. Since we have millions of subscribers, this would mean huge revenue for the government regulatory authority.