Back in April, the industry watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had issued a consultation paper to review the norms about mobile number portability. This consultation sought inputs from the concerned authorities about fastening of the MNP process which currently takes up to 7 days in the country. While in the other parts of the world, the process is almost instantaneous. If passed, then these new norms will ensure that subscribers experience, smooth and swift mobile number porting.
Trai on the Verge of Publishing Draft Rules on MNP
As per a Livemint report, an anonymous Trai official said “The draft rules are ready, and we will publish them soon to invite public comment. Basically, the new norms aim to reduce the time (to port) and the discretion of the donor operator.”
It is also worth noting that currently, the norm dictates that a subscriber should stay with the current carrier for at least 90 days before porting his number. Further, the waiting time for MNP in India is seven days except for Jammu and Kashmir, where it remains 15 days for security reasons. The Trai official further said about this new development, "We want to bring this (porting period) down to two days.”
MNP Complains Increase as Telcos Stop Operations
The telecom regulator was also quick to point out that following the exit of loss-making telcos like Reliance Communications and Aircel and their stoppage of operations had further agitated a lot of their subscribers and this was apparent from the complains received by the authority. The regulator also added that most of these complaints were related to mobile number portability.
In its consultation paper Trai said “The major issues are non-generation of unique porting code (UPC) by the donor operator or non-receipt of UPC by the subscriber, multiple rejections of porting requests by donor operators on various grounds, instances of fraudulent porting, issuance of interim bills for postpaid subscribers, non-refund of the prepaid balance and security deposits of postpaid subscribers, which create inconvenience and dissatisfaction to the mobile subscribers.”
Plans to Automate MNP Process
Highlighting the issues being faced by the subscribers, Trai said that sometimes subscribers conveyed the wrong code or there was a discrepancy in the code being entered by the operator on the other side which led to further delayed time in MNP. The regulator highlighted another issue as it remarked: “Right now, the donor operator which issues the porting code knows that the subscriber is porting out and uses all tricks in the bag to create harassment for users.”
The Trai official further added, “There will be a 6-7 point checklist, which will seek answers to questions on eligibility criteria for a user to port out. This will have to be answered in an automated yes-or-no manner and only then can the unique porting code be generated.”