Tuesday, 19 March 2019

TRAI to introduce new mobile number portability regime from April 1

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will come out with a new price regime for mobile number portability (MNP) in April, TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma said on Monday. "The whole process of MNP has undergone a change. We are carrying out consultation
about what should be the charges of the MNP service provider. The consultation process is currently on. It was about to come to an end but some stakeholders have sought time and we have given time till April 1," Sharma told IANS in an interview. 

"So, I think we will be coming out with a new price regime for the changed policy on the MNP, hopefully by mid-April, when we would be able to give the recommendations", Sharma said. The new price regime comes in the wake of a recent High Court ruling striking down the TRAI`s order to lower the portability charge earlier this month. The court said the TRAI decision on revising the cost downward was flawed as it disregarded costs to the service providers.

The High Court had set aside the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India`s (TRAI) order to lower the fees for MNP from Rs 19 per port to Rs 4 per port. TRAI had then said that the amount will be paid only if the porting request of the customer was successful while moving to the desired operator.

Sharma, however, said the regulator has not yet taken a call if they were to appeal against the HC order.

"We will have to take a call whether we should appeal that decision", said the Trai Chairman.

"In December, 2018, 4.76 million subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP). With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 407.22 million at the end of November 2018 to 411.98 million at the end of December 2018, since implementation of MNP," TRAI said in its latest industry report last month.


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