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June 09, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka would soon be sounding out operators on making mobile telephone numbers portable, telecom minister Rauf Hakeem said. "In Andra Pradesh, base stations for which approvals are not given in a fixed time, or not objected to, are considered given," Hakeem said. "We need to be pro-active in reform, opening up a multitude of opportunities, issues which have been overlooked," Hakeem told an economic forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

"Mobile number portability would help smaller and newer players."

He said the telecom sector, especially mobiles, was growing at the rate of 50 percent a year.

Hakeem says the telecom regulator would call operators soon to get their consent and views.

"We will seek their views and hope to get their agreement," he said.

"The core telecom objectives have been geared towards affordable and effective options."

Responding to questions from the audience, Hakeem said the government may have to "legislate" if agreement is not reached.

Pakistan has already implemented number portability for mobiles.

But the process in many markets have been

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