MNP porting charge to dip to Rs 4 from Rs 19: TRAI

Video technology for smartphone usersTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to cut the per port transaction charge for changing operators via MNP (mobile number portability) to Rs 4 from Rs 19.

The decrease in MNP porting charges will assist leading Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio and BSNL to enhance their focus on customers of their rival networks.

India has more than one billion wireless connections, according to TRAI.

The steep cut in MNP porting charges follows TRAI’s review of the financial results of both the MNPSPs and the surge in the volume of porting requests in the past two years. TRAI said the charge of Rs 19 is high as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved.

During open house discussions, most of the Indian telecom stakeholders including TSPs and COAI asked TRAI to bring down the per port transaction charge to Rs 2 against the proposed Rs 4, considering the surge in the MNP requests and reduction in the cost of serving such requests. One operator, in fact, asked for zero charges for porting.

On the other hand, MNPSPs commented that the current per port transaction charge of Rs 19 was reasonable and should not be revised downward. Considering the market consolidation scenario, wireless subscribers will be left with fewer choices in the future to port to different operators, which will in turn lead to decline in porting volumes.