Telecom regulator cuts mobile number portability fee to ₹4

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 31, 2018 Published on January 31, 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday slashed the charges of mobile number portability by around 79 per cent to a maximum ₹4 from earlier prescribed rate of ₹19.

This would mean that the subscribers cannot be charged more than ₹4 for their network port out requests by the operator. But the recipient operators (from where the number is to be shifted) are ‘free to charge’ a lesser amount from them for Mobile Number Portability (MNP)), the regulator said.

Under the MNP regime, a subscriber can retain the existing mobile telephone number while switching from one service provider to another or from one technology to another technology of the same service provider. It allows subscribers to retain their mobile number not only within the same licensed service area (LSA) but also pan India in any LSA.

“It is decided that the per port transaction charge may be reduced as the costs of operations of Mobile Number Portability Service Providers (MNPSPs) have substantially gone down and the volume of MNP traffic has increased,” it said.

The Authority had initiated a consultation process to review these charges in mid-December and followed it up with an open house discussion on the issue on January 16.

TRAI has been of the view that considering the upsurge in the volume of porting requests with effect from July 3, 2015, and the financial results of both the MNPSPs, the ceiling of ₹19 is ‘quite high’ as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved.

The scope of MNP was expanded in the financial year 2015-16, when MNP service was allowed across all LSAs on pan India as the national rollout (full-MNP) from July 2015. This resulted in huge upsurge in the number of porting requests from 64 lakh in 2010-11 to 368 lakh in 2014-15. This has further gone up to 636 lakh in 2016-17, TRAI noted.

Published on January 31, 2018
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