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After reducing Interconnect Call Charges, Telecom Regulator TRAI has floated new consultation papers for bringing down the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) charges from Rs 19 to Rs 4.
"Considering the financials of both the MNPSPs and the upsurge in the volume of porting requests in the past two years, the Authority is of the view that the present ceiling of Rs. 19/- is quite high as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.
The Authority has, therefore, decided that the upper ceiling for per port transaction charge may be reduced as the costs of operations of MNPSPs have substantially gone down," TRAI added.
Under MNP regime, a subscriber can retain his/ her existing mobile telephone number when he/ she switches from one service provider to another or from one technology to another of the same service provider and allows subscribers to retain his mobile number not only within the same Licensed Service Area (LSA) but also Pan India in any LSA.
The MNP is operational since 2009 which means eight years.
As per Telecommunication Mobile Number portability Per Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations, 2009 dated 20th November 2009, TRAI has fixed Rs. 19/- as'Per Port Transaction Charge' and through notification of the Telecommunication Tariff Order (Forty-Ninth Amendment) Order, 2009, the Authority prescribed the Per Port Transaction charge Rs. 19/- as a ceiling.
Till 2015, for the purpose of MNP service, the entire country was divided into two zones with 11 LSAs in each zone and MNP service was allowed only within the LSA. The scope of MNP was expanded in the financial year 2015-16 when MNP service was allowed across all licensed service areas on Pan India as the national rollout (Full-MNP) w.e.f. 3rd July 2015.
This resulted in the huge upsurge in the number of porting requests from 64 lakh in 2010-11 to 368 lakh in 2014-15 and which has further gone up to 636 lakh in 2016-17. The Authority also reviewed/ analyzed upsurge in the porting.