Info-tech

Implement number portability properly or face penalty, DoT tells operators

Thomas K. Thomas New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2011

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The Department of Telecom has told operators to implement mobile number portability (MNP) properly or face penalty.

The DoT notice was sent on Monday after it received a number of complaints from subscribers who were unable to port their numbers.

Under the MNP system, when a subscriber sends in a request for porting to number 1900, operators are required to reply with a unique porting code (UPC). This code is required by the subscriber to complete the porting to the operator of his choice.

“Some operators have been found to deny the UPC to subscribers and are sending messages like ‘sorry customers, please try after some time' or ‘dear customers, please wait for some time'. Thereafter, operators try to contact the customer for retention. This is not allowed. We have told the operators that UPC generation is not to be hampered under any circumstances,” said a top DoT official.

Technical problems

“Some operators, after sending the UPC, are rejecting the applications saying that the code is not correct even though that is what had been sent to the customer. This is also not acceptable. The operators are required to follow the conditions laid down by the DoT and TRAI and any instance of violation may lead to penalty.”

An industry representative said that there may be initial technical problems in implementing the system but the operators are working towards resolving the issues.

“When such a huge initiative is rolled out across the country covering over 700 million subscribers, there is bound to be some start-up problems. By and large, MNP is being implemented properly but there could be a few instances of technical glitches. This will be sorted out,” said an industry representative.

MNP was first introduced in Haryana on November 25 and in the rest of the country on January 20. In Haryana, over one lakh subscribers have availed themselves of the porting facility with Vodafone and Bharti Airtel being the major gainers.

tkt@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 25, 2011

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