TRAI to review mobile number portability charges even as monthly port requests decline

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Updated: February 23, 2019 1:23:17 PM

TRAI has asked the stakeholders whether the charges should continue to be calculated the same way.

MNP requests declined 37% to 3.19 million in October 2018 from 5.04 million requests in September 2018.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday issued a consultation paper to review per port transaction charge and ancillary services’ charge for mobile number portability (MNP) amid market consolidation and a decline in port requests.

TRAI in the paper said that “Mergers of some of the major telecom service providers (TSP) and closure of services by many TSPs have been witnessed during the last one year. Porting data for the last one year shows that the number of port requests per month is declining.”

According to the data by TRAI the MNP requests declined 37% to 3.19 million in October 2018 from 5.04 million requests in September 2018.

TRAI had reduced the per port transaction charge from Rs 19 to Rs 4 and on January 31, 2018. The ceiling of charges leviable from subscriber was also reduced to Rs 4 for each porting, the consultation paper said.

The authority said that initially the per port transaction charges were calculated according to estimated data shared by the MNP service providers (MNPSP) in 2009. “Subsequently, the charge was reviewed based on the financial and non-financial data of both the MNPSPs as available for FY 2011-17.

However, TRAI has now asked the stakeholders whether the per port transaction charges should continue to be calculated the same way and if not then what should be the new methodology.

The authority, in a list of six questions, also asked that “While calculating ‘Per Port Transaction Charge’, whether the total number of MNP requests received by MNPSP or successfully ported numbers be considered?” the consultation paper said.

Also, whether the per port transaction charge and ancillary services’ charge should be calculated separately or as consolidated charges? TRAI said.

In December last year, the telecom regulator had revised the (MNP) rules for faster and simpler processing of requests.

TRAI had prescribed a two-day limit for port out requests within a service area along with a timeline of four days for requests from one circle to other.

Each “wrongful rejection” of the request for porting will attract penalty of up to Rs 10,000, TRAI said earlier in a statement.

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