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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has now decided to slash the mobile number portability (MNP) rate for telecom operators. The agency has now brought down the price to Rs. 4 per successful porting from the earlier rate which was Rs. 19. TRAI arrived at the decision after taking into consideration the comments and requests received from the industry stakeholders.
A statement issued by the TRAI said it would come into effect from the date of official Gazette notification. Under the MNP regime, a subscriber can retain the existing mobile telephone number while switching from one service provider to another or from one technology to another technology of the same service provider. It allows subscribers to retain their mobile number not only within the same Licensed Service Area (LSA) but also pan India in any LSA.
After observing a significant decline in the per port transaction cost, the sectoral regulator decided to slash the price. "After reviewing the financial results of both the MNP Service Providers and the upsurge in the volume of porting requests in the past two years, the Authority opined that the present charge of Rs. 19 is quite high as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved," the statement said.
"In several instances, the operators were bearing this cost on behalf of the customers approaching them for the port-in. Hence, it will be beneficial for both customers and operators as the cost of porting will be greatly reduced," said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators' Association of India.
"Operators have been requesting Trai to bring down this charge as the MNP transaction has increased manifold since the inception of MNP. In several instances, the operators were bearing this cost on behalf of the customers approaching them for port-in. Hence, it will be beneficial for both customers and operators as the cost of porting will be greatly reduced," he added.
In any case, with this move, telecom operators will experience reduced MNP cost burden on them.
Inputs from IANS