TRAI drafts MNP norms slashing porting time, imposing penalty

TRAI has proposed a significant reduction in porting time to two days in a telecom circle as part of suggesting new guidelines for MNP (Mobile Number Portability) in India.
Phone user in VietnamTRAI in its draft regulations issued on Tuesday said processing of mobile number portability request should be through MNP service provider instead of telecom operators in order to reduce rejection of subscriber requests to change their mobile network. The draft is open for public comments till October 24.

TRAI said that the request for generating the UPC (unique porting code) by the phone user received at donor operator’s network on short Code 1900 will be forwarded to the concerned MNP service provider who upon examination shall allocate and deliver UPC to the mobile subscriber.

At present, the donor operator generates and communicates UPC to subscriber and it takes up to four days for subscriber to learn about his eligibility for porting mobile number.

A telecom operator can reject MNP request of its subscriber on various grounds like non-payment of bill or connection given under special schemes etc.

Under the proposed system, MNP service provider will share UPC with the subscriber only if he is eligible for porting his number.

MNP service providers say the average rejection of porting requests by telecom service providers in all the categories was about 11.16 percent (total rejections average per month is about 5.87 lakh) and rejections on the grounds of UPC mismatch and UPC expired constituted about 40 percent of the total rejections.

Average porting requests per month reached 52.35 lakh. The average rejections on the ground of UPC mismatch and UPC expired jointly was approximately 2.3 lakh per month between April 2016 to March 2017, TRAI said.

TRAI has proposed that once a subscriber sends request for porting from the network he is using, the operator will forward the request to MNPSP who will on real-time basis verify eligibility of the subscriber for porting and issue the code.

The telecom regulator has proposed to reduce the validity period of the UPC generated to four working days from seven working days at present.

The validity of UPC for the licence service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North East shall remain unchanged which is 15 working days.

The subscriber is required to share this UPC with the telecom operator which he wants to join and the recipient operator will need to share the code with MNPSP for process. Upon receipt of the porting request from the recipient operator, MNPSP will have to forward the request to donor operator for porting on completion of two working days for intra-licensed service area porting requests and on completion of four working days for all inter-licensed service area porting requests.

TRAI proposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 in each case where service providers contravene with set timelines. The penalty on service providers will be Rs 10,000 for contraventions in terms of eligibility rules.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews said MNP demand has peaked after the closure of Aircel, Telenor and Reliance Communications and the heavy demand from customers of these companies to move to other operators.

“Present operators wish to ensure customers are not inconvenienced during the MNP process and hence are working to put the appropriate systems and infrastructure in place to comply,” Rajan S Mathews said.