In order to make the mobile number portability (MNP) process more efficient and reduce inconvenience to mobile phone users in India, TRAI Is now making it mandatory for telcos to complete the procedure in two days. Currently, users have to wait for a total of 4 days to get their numbers ported from one service provider to another.
As reported by ET Telecom, telcos will also be subject to a fine if they fail to stick to the new procedure timeline. TRAI stated that it will be imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 for each violation, where telco does not share customer details with the MNP service provider within 24 hours of the user submitting the request. The fine is said to double if the application is further rejected on the basis of faulty reasons.
TRAI is imposing the second fine mostly because 45 percent of the rejected porting requests from April 2017 to May 2018 were done on the grounds of porting code mismatch and invalid/expired codes. It believes that imposing such fines will force telcos to take the necessary measures in improving their porting request procedures.
On the flipside however, service providers do not seem happy with TRAI’s decision. Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) was quoted in the report saying, “Penalties are extremely blunt instruments to ensure MNP compliance. Rather, a partnered approach with TRAI to ensure our mutual goals are met and difficulties ironed out would be the preferred approach,” COAI currently represents Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.
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Mathews further stated that the number of MNP requests in India have gotten really high in the recent times and most telcos are still working towards setting up appropriate infrastructure in order to meet the demands. Service providers are also claiming that the porting scenario in India is more complicated, as there more than a billion mobile phone users across 22 circles.