Sunday, 25 January 2015

Draft rules for full mobile number portability issued by TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued draft regulations to facilitate full mobile number portability (MNP), which is set to start from May 3. Currently, MNP norms allow users to retain their numbers while changing their operators within the same service area. India has 22 telecom circles or service areas.

The full or nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) will allow consumers to change service provider in any part of the country while retaining their existing number. Under the full MNP regime, a subscriber in Delhi NCR, for instance, will be able to switch to the network of either the same or any other telecom operator in a different state while retaining the same mobile number.

On November 3, 2014 the Department of Telecom (DoT) had issued amendments to the MNP License Agreement and asked telecom operators to implement full MNP within a period of six months from the date of amendment. Two months ago, DoT said that in order to implement full MNP, the word ‘each intra’ is modified to be read as ‘inter and intra’ in the instructions for MNP, which were issued on May 6, 2009.

In the new amendment, the telecom regulator wants to introduce a clause to safeguard interest of postpaid mobile service users who face disconnection in a new network even after clearing all their dues of their old service provider. The telecom regulator has sought public comments on the subject by February 6, 2015. Over 13 crores people had requested for MNP facility as of August 31, as per the data released by the TRAI.

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