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Pay Rs 200 for cellphone number portability: TRAI

TRAI says number portability on mobile phones can be made available for an one-time payment of Rs 200.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2011 19:02 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Just days prior to his term coming to an end, TRAI Chairman Pradip Baijal on Wednesday recommended one of the most crucial issues of number portability on mobile phones saying the facility can be made available for a one-time payment of Rs 200.

Number portability will allow customers to switch operator while retaining the old number.

According to TRAI the number portability should be implemented from April 1, 2007 for customers, and asked Department of Telecom (DoT) to make suitable changes in the license enabling TRAI to issue guidelines in this regard.

The regulator says the cost of Rs 200 payable by the customers will enable the operator to recover his investment cost in 3-5 years. Further, it has also recommended that initially MNP be introduced within the service area only.

The Authority has come to the conclusion that this is not the appropriate time for introducing Fixed Number Portability.

Releasing the recommendations on mobile number portability, TRAI said Mobile Number Portability (MNP) benefits subscribers, encourages improvement in quality of service through increased level of competition between service providers, rewarding those operators having better customer service, network coverage, and service quality.

"Considering the present status of telecom services in India, TRAI considers it an appropriate time to initiate process for implementing Mobile Number Portability so as to increase customer convenience, Quality of Service and further enhance competition among service providers in the Mobile sector, it said.

Government may mandate all UASLs/CMSPs to implement Mobile Number Portability. It is appropriate to implement MNP in phased manner starting from metros and A category service areas followed by B then C category service areas within the interval of six months.

It has suggested that All Call Query Method be implemented for mobile number portability in India. Mobile Operators through neutral third party will establish logically centralised database with not more than 5 regionally located databases. Cost of this database will be borne proportionately based on subscriber base by each operator. This database will be the depository for the ported numbers.

Any other issues relating to creation of database, interfaces, performance parameters, service levels will be resolved by discussion and coordination among all the stakeholders. A steering committee consisting of operators, industry association and TEC under the aegis of TRAI will be constituted to workout the details of the implementation issues.

Customer will approach recipient operator for porting in respect of porting charges, only Recipient operator shall be permitted to charge a fee for successful porting.

Provision may be made by the licensor in the license indicating TRAI will issue regulation in this regard. Common set up costs for Number Portability Administration Centre (NPAC), Clearing House would be borne by operators based on the subscriber market share of operators as on January 1, 2007.


First Published: Mar 08, 2006 16:48 IST