TRAI to fine operators for infringing MNP rules

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Wednesday said it will levy financial disincentives on operators for contravention of mobile number portability (MNP) regulations ranging from Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000.

"In order to ensure compliance of MNP regulations by access providers, the authority has decided to amend the regulations to incorporate the provisions for levying financial disincentives where contravention is established in rejection of porting requests and also in the timelines specified in the regulations," the TRAI said in its fourth amendment to the Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability Regulations 2009.

"In cases where 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 whereas in 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," it added.

These regulations will come into effect after 60 days so that service providers streamline their current processes in conformity with the MNP regulations.

According to TRAI while almost 60 million customers have opted for MNP so far across the country, the authority has also received a number of complaints wherein the subscribers have reported that their porting requests have been rejected by the donor operators on frivolous grounds.

MNP was implemented across the country last January while the pilot launch of the service took place in Haryana Nov 25, 2010.

To opt for MNP, a customer has to pay a maximum of Rs.19 to the new operator for 'porting' the number and remain with the new operator for at least three months.

The customer has to send an SMS from the existing phone to 1900. A unique porting code is sent by the existing provider. An application then has to be filed with the new service provider mentioning the code for transferring the connection.

Currently India has almost 914 million subscribers. 

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