Currently, MNP norms allow users to retain their numbers while changing their operators within the same service area. India has 22 telecom circles, or service areas.
     
Under the full MNP regime, a subscriber in Delhi NCR, for instance, will be able to switch to the network of either the same or any other telecom operator in a different state while retaining the same mobile number.
     
"Intra licensed service area MNP has already been implemented in the year 2010-11. Now, it has been decided to implement the facility of full MNP in the country which will enable the subscribers to port their mobile numbers across the licensed service area also," Department of Telecom said in a letter to telecom operators dated November 3.
     
DoT said that in order to implement full MNP, the word 'each intra' is modified to be read as 'inter and intra' in the instructions for MNP, which were issued on May 6, 2009.
     
"The telecom service providers are being given six months time to implement full MNP from the date of issuance of these instructions," DoT said.
     
As per the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, about 13 crore people had requested for MNP facility as on August 31.