TRAI suggests cut in MNP charges to Rs 4 from Rs 19

TRAI chairmanTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced that it would seek to reduce the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) charges to Rs 4 from the present Rs 19 per port.

TRAI has floated a consultation paper to make changes in MNP guidelines. Telecom stakeholders can send their comments by December 23.

During the current phase of consolidation and hyper competition, the demand for MNP requests has gone up.

TRAI earlier said telecom operators received 9.60 million requests for MNP in the month of October 2017. The cumulative MNP requests increased to 314.99 million in October 2017 since the start of MNP in India. The total number of wireless phone subscribers in India is around 1178.20 million till October 2017.

TRAI in another document said that the number of porting requests has increased from 64 lakh in 2010-11 to 368 lakh in 2014-15 and 636 lakh in 2016-17.

TRAI determined the MNP transaction charge of Rs 19 in November 2009 based on the estimated financial and other information/ data submitted by the two MNPSPs in 2009. The MNP transaction charge was computed by dividing the total cost to the MNPSP by the estimated number of porting subscribers, over a period of 5 years. TRAI considered the lower of the cost of the two MNPSPs for fixing the porting charge.

According to TRAI, the operational cost of porting has come down to Rs 4. TRAI has taken this view based on the financials provided by the two MNPSPs during 2016-17.