Telecom

TRAI instructs all telecom operators to enable port-out SMS facility irrespective of tariff plans

According to the MNP regulations set by TRAI, all telecom service providers are deemed to provide users with access to the service.

Published:Wed, December 08, 2021 7:58pm

By Karanveer Singh Arora

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed all telecom operators to "immediately" enable port-out SMS facility for all mobile users irrespective of the value of the tariff vouchers. This direction comes after TRAI has received several complaints from subscribers over their inability to send port out SMS on 1900 despite having sufficient balance in their prepaid accounts.

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Reliance Jio also recently filed a complaint with TRAI, alleging that both Vi and Airtel have been creating barriers for subscribers who want to port out, but are subscribed to lower-denomination prepaid plans.

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"The Authority is of the view that this practice of non-provision of the facility of sending MNP (mobile number portability) related SMS in certain prepaid vouchers/plans is in contravention of the provisions of MNP regulations, as it takes away the consumer's right, provided for in the regulations, to avail mobile number portability facility," TRAI wrote in the direction that has been issued.

After the recent prepaid tariff of 20-25 percent hike made by all the three major telecom service providers, the minimum plan which offers an outgoing SMS facility has also steeply increased. After the tariff increase, the minimum plan which offers outgoing SMS facility offered by Vi is priced at Rs 179 and by Airtel is at Rs 128. Reliance Jio offers an SMS facility along with all of its plans.

According to the MNP regulations, all telecom service providers are deemed to provide users with access to the service. All prepaid and postpaid users upon request should be provided access to the service on a non-discriminatory basis.

The sub-regulation (1) of regulation 5 of MNP rules states that all operators shall set up a mechanism for the purpose of receiving SMS from its subscribers requesting for a unique porting code. While at the same time forwarding the same to the MNP zone to which the mobile number belongs.

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