Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to bring down the cost of mobile number portability (MNP) charges from Rs 19 to Rs 4. The regulator has floated a consultation paper on the same and invited comments from the public and stakeholders.
TRAI rolled out ‘Telecommunication Mobile Number portability Per Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations, 2009’ dated on November 20, 2009, through which the regulator fixed Rs 19 as the celling of per port transaction charge. For the unintended, the Mobile Number Portability is the facility that allows a subscriber of an operator service to retain his/her mobile number when he/she moves from one operator to another.
The MNP was limited only within a telecom circle. However, in July 2015, the scope of MNP was expanded across all services area on pan-India bases. The regulator is of the view that scope of MNP and number of requests have increased exponentially with a number of porting requests jumping from 6.4 million during 2010-11 to 36.8 million in 2014-15, which further rose to 63.6 million during 2016-17.
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“Considering the upsurge in the volume of porting requests w.e.f. 3rd July, 2015 and the financial results of both the Mobile Number Portability Service Providers (MNPSPs) the last two available years, the Authority is of the view that the present ceiling of Rs 19 is quite high as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved,” the regulator said.
Therefore, the regulator has decided that the upper ceiling for per port transaction charge may be reduced as the cost of operations has gone down. The move will surely bring down the MNP charges and it will make it easier for customers to switch from one operator to another without at low cost.