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TRAI proposes changes to network porting process; emphasis on third-party facilitators

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has initiated the process to make changes in porting mobile numbers to make the mechanism easier and more efficient. It released a consultation paper on April 6, saying that closure of telecom service providers in recent months has brought new issues to the fore. The last date for sending comments is May 3 and that for counter comments is May 17. In the paper, the TRAI said that it had received a large number of complaints related to the difficulties faced by the subscribers of these service providers in porting their mobile numbers. As telecom service providers such as Aircel and Reliance Communication, among others, have shut their mobile services, it has led to large-scale porting. Some key problems were: Non-generation of unique port code (UPC) by the current operator or its non-receipt of UPC by the subscriber. Rejection of porting requests multiple times by original operators using provisions in regulations. Some such grounds of rejection are fraudulent porting, pending bills, non-completion of a 90-day active period in the network. Non-refund of pre-paid balance and post-paid security deposits In India, third-party Mobile Number Portability Service Providers (MNPSPs) Telcordia and Syniverse facilitate the process of changing networks. In their analysis report, said TRAI, 40% of all rejection of porting requests were on the grounds of "Unique Porting Code (UPC) Mismatch" and "Unique Porting Code (UPC) expired". TRAI pointed out some gaps in the mechanism: There is no method available with the receiving or new…

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