Trai asks telcos to act to speed up the mobile number portability process

MNP refers to a facility that allows a mobile user to switch telco operators without changing the mobile number.

Kolkata: The telecom regulator has asked mobile carriers to facilitate generation of unique porting codes (UPC) if pending dues of a postpaid customer wanting to port out is Rs 10 or less, a move aimed at speeding up the mobile number portability (MNP) process for consumers.

It has also asked telcos to waive pending dues of a mobile user porting out, if the sum is a paltry Rs 10 or less, on grounds that holding up clearances for generation of UPCs till the recovery of such niggardly sums often ends up delaying the MNP process and inconveniencing all stakeholders.

MNP refers to a facility that allows a mobile user to switch telco operators without changing the mobile number.

“While reviewing the status of the MNP (Seventh Amendment) Regulations, 2018, the Authority noted that many non-payment disconnection (NPD) service requests are being raised (by telcos) for recovery of very nominal outstanding sums from ported subscribers, as little as Rs 8.50 or Rs 0.50 etc, causing inconvenience not only to the subscriber, but also to the donor/recipient operators and MNP service providers for such miniscule amounts,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in a directive to mobile operators Thursday.

Accordingly, it has directed telcos “not to raise NPD requests” if the outstanding sum due from a ported subscriber is Rs 10 or less, and not to levy any penal charges either.

The telecom regulator though has allowed telcos to block generation of UPCs if a postpaid user porting out hasn’t fulfilled any contractual obligations at the time of exit. Clearance for UPC generation, it said, can be held in abeyance, in case of postpaid connections with bundled handsets where a subscriber hasn’t complied with contractual obligations with an exit clause. The same would also hold if a mobile user with a corporate connection wants to port out, but hasn’t fulfilled contractual obligations with exit clause.

Trai said the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representing Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, had backed “Rs 10 as a threshold for closure of NPD service requests” under MNP rules during recent discussions on the matter. The proposal, it added, had also been endorsed by state-run BSNL and MTNL.

The regulator has sought a compliance report from all telcos within 10 days.




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