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TRAI To Fine Telecom Operators For Contravening MNP Regulations

The Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) has announced (pdf) that it will fine telecom operators on breaching the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009. 

TRAI mentioned that in case a deviation is noticed by TRAI in the specified timelines by a service provider, a financial disincentive of Rs 5,000 will be levied for each contravention. In the cases where contravention is established in rejection of porting request by a service provider, a financial disincentive of an amount of Rs 10,000 will be levied for each rejection. The TRAI also mentioned that these new regulations will come into effect in 60 days so that service providers can streamline their current processes to comply with the MNP regulations.

MNP, which was first implemented in the country by January last year, has seen 59.30 million subscribers requests for number porting till the month of July, 2012. To opt for MNP, a customer has to pay Rs. 19 for porting their number to a new operator. The customer then has to stick with the new operator at least for three months. TRAI has mentioned that it has received a number of complaints from subscribers wherein the subscribers have reported that their porting request had been rejected by donor operator on invalid grounds.

In February 2012, TRAI had issueddirective to all mobile operators asking donor operators to not reject MNP porting requests on the ground that they received a cancellation request from a subscriber through SMS, voice calls and in written form. The authority said that it had observed a high percentage of porting request cancellations from donor operators. However, a customer can still withdraw the porting request within 24 hours of requesting for it only to the recipient operator.

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