TRAI has drafted the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (7th Amendment) Regulations which will go in effect on 11 November, 2019.
One of the highly demanded services in the telecom sector is of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The demand for this service has especially gone up after the industry went through the data tariff war and the competition between the telecom operators intensified. As a result, the telcos started rolling out new attractive offers at luring prices, which led to the migration of consumers from one network to another. It is obvious that people would not want to lose their number in the process; hence, MNP was the way to go. However, the trouble with MNP has been the one week waiting period, which is a lot considering the network situation, data flow and the average calling minutes of the users these days. To fix this issue, TRAI will be rolling out a new MNP process with new regulations in November, instead of 30th September which was the previous date for the rollout of the new regulations.
TRAI Postpones Rollout of New Regulations to 11 November 2019
TRAI announced that it is taking the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (7th Amendment) Regulations, 2018 effective starting 30th September. This new set of regulations will bring a different process for mobile number portability into practice.
The telecom regulator conducted meetings with Mobile Number Portability Service Providers and Telecom Service Providers in the September. In these meetings, it was discussed that thorough testing should be performed before the rollout of the new MNP process so that the subscribers do not face any inconvenience later for system related issues.
The new MNP regulations proposed and soon to be implemented by TRAI will have a multitude of implications for the normal telecom subscribers. The new rules will affect all the subscribers who wish to port their SIM to a different network and among all the effects, the first will be of the reduction in the time that it takes to port the SIM. Currently, to port a SIM it takes almost a week’s worth of wait before the subscriber is able to access the network of the port-in telco. But, with the new rules, this time will be brought down to only two days. Similarly, a timeline of four working days has been prescribed for requests for port out from one circle to other.
Also, for the telcos, the new regulations dictate that they would be fined Rs 10,000 for every wrongful rejection of the request for porting. Another factor which would be influenced by the rollout of the new MNP regulations is the validity of the porting code. Currently, the porting code remains valid for a fortnight or 14 days, but with the change in the rules, the validity of the porting code would be brought down to four days. There will also be service quality parameters set with the new regulations, which means that the telcos and the other service providers in the MNP process will be under the scrutiny of the regulator.