China's major telecom operators have reportedly already begun making adjustments in order to achieve mobile number portability this year.
Number portability will reportedly operate along three main guidelines during the trial stage:
1) There will be no discrimination or preferential treatment for users choosing a new operator.
2) Service plans will not be portable, and at present any surplus calling credit will be non-transferable.
3) Inter-carrier interconnected billing will not be supported.
The first principle will continue to be observed after number portability sees commercial launch.
An industry insider claims that the Tianjin and Hainan province, which began commercial trials last year, will be among the first to start offering number portability in May 2010. In addition to these preparations, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will establish a centralized database, and then subject each operator to a four-step process of gateway testing, comprehensive services testing, test result evaluations and internal trials.