The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reduced the per port transaction charge for each successful Mobile Number Portability from Rs 19 to Rs 4 by amending The Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Per Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations. TRAI had capped the porting charge at Rs 19 in 2009, and operators were free to charge any amount less than this if they chose to.

There are three transactions involved in the transfer of a mobile number to another operator, of which two – the per port transaction charge and the dipping charge – are between the participating operators and mobile number portability service providers (MNPSPs) Telcordia and Syniverse. The subscriber who intends to shift to a new operator and retain her existing number needs to pay only the porting charge.

TRAI said that it believes the present ceiling of Rs 19 was high in comparison to the cost and volume of transactions, based on the upsurge in the volume of porting requests plus the financial results of both the MNPSPSs for the last two available years. It had released a draft consultation paper to this effect in December last year, following which it held an open-house discussion last month.

Note that during the open-house discussion, telecom operators and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) were of the opinion that the revised per port transaction charge of Rs 4 was still on the higher side and should be further reduced to Rs 2.

In November 2017 (which is the last available data at present), porting requests were submitted for 15.98 million connections, up 66.5% from 9.6 million porting requests reported in October 2017. TRAI does not provide any operator-wise breakdown for these porting requests.

Also Read: TRAI seeks to change existing MNP guidelines to cut down porting rejections