The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) feels that the present rate of Rs 19 for processing mobile number porting requests is “quite high compared to cost and volume of transactions” and therefore has proposed reduction of the charge to Rs 4. The regulator on Monday floated a consultation paper on the same and invited comments from the public and stakeholders. In November 2009, Trai fixed the transaction charge for every porting request to Rs 19 through the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Per-Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations, 2009.
The government allowed Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in November 2009, but it was restricted only within a telecom circle. In July 2015, the scope of MNP was expanded across all service areas on a pan-India level. Trai is of the view that after MNP’s scope was expanded pan-India, the number of requests also increased exponentially. The number of porting requests jumped from 6.4 million during 2010-11 to 36.8 million in 2014-15, which further rose to 63.6 million during 2016-17.
Giving the rationale on reducing the charge by almost 80%, the regulator said, “Considering the financials of the two Mobile Number Portability Service Providers (MNSPs) and the upsurge in volume of porting requests in past two 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, therefore, decided that the upper ceiling for per port transaction charge may be reduced as the costs of operations of MNPSPs have gone down.