Vodafone Idea Loses Case Against TRAI’s MNP Order

When the tariff hikes came in December 2021, it made things bad for low paying customers who wanted to port out from their current service provider. The thing is, telcos removed SMS benefits from lower denomination plans and it meant that low-paying customers couldn’t port out.

Highlights

  • TDSAT has said that TRAI’s stand is “fair and reasonable”.
  • Reliance Jio felt like Vi’s plans were the most expensive when it came to SMS benefits.
  • TRAI had asked all the telecom operators to allow subscribers to send port out SMS to 1900 regardless of whether their plans have SMS benefit or not.

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Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator, has lost the case against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) order for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which was issued in December 7, 2021. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), in its order, said that TRAI is well within its powers to issue such an order and doesn’t require any interference.

TDSAT has said that TRAI’s stand is “fair and reasonable”.

Tariff Hikes Made Porting Out Hard for People

When the tariff hikes came in December 2021, it made things worse for low paying customers who wanted to port out from their current service provider. The thing is, telcos removed SMS benefits from lower denomination plans, and it meant that low-paying customers couldn’t port out.

Reliance Jio felt like Vi’s plans were the most expensive when it came to SMS benefits. Vi customers recharging with entry-level plans couldn’t port out to Airtel or Jio because they didn’t have SMS benefits.

Thus, to ensure that this problem is resolved, TRAI asked all the telecom operators to allow subscribers to send port out SMS to 1900 regardless of whether their plans have SMS benefit or not.

But Vodafone Idea (Vi) had a problem with this order and appealed against it in the TDSAT. But TDSAT has sided with the TRAI’s order, reports PTI.

However, TDSAT has asked TRAI to give appropriate time to Vodafone Idea (Vi) for the implementation of this order for all its subscribers. This should mean that in the coming days, users can port out of their networks without having the need to recharge with an SMS bundled prepaid pack. This is surely going to hurt Vodafone Idea (Vi) as the telco wanted to retain these customers.

Airtel wouldn’t mind this order at all as the telco only wants high-paying quality customers to keep its average revenue per user (ARPU) figure higher than its competitors.

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