Telecom regulatory body, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has reduced mobile number porting (MNP) charges to Rs 4, providing relief to end users.
The decision comes after TRAI announced a consultation paper back in December last year and also considered inputs submitted by various stakeholders from the telecom industry, including the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
Earlier, several telecom operators had requested TRAI to reduce the MNP charges to Rs 2, or even completely, but faced opposition from MNP service providers. At the time, the porting charges were maintained at Rs 19.
MNP traffic sees a huge increase
However, after considering the huge surge in the number of MNP requests submitted by users, TRAI concluded that the cost for posting numbers had come down. As such, the regulator has decided to pass on the benefit to users, bringing down the cost of a successful MNP request to Rs 4.
In a statement, TRAI said -
"After taking into consideration the views/comments received from stakeholders and the other relevant facts, the Authority has decided that the per port transaction charge may be reduced as the costs of operations of MNP service providers have substantially gone down, and at the same time, the volume of MNP traffic has increased by leaps and bounds."
Further, the regulator added - "As a result of this amendment, there will be an automatic reduction in the ceiling of the charges leviable from subscribers for MNP from Rs 19 to Rs 4."
Rajan S Mathews, Director General of COAI, a body that represents all the GSM operators in the country, welcomed the move.
Under the MNP regime, a user can now port out his number from one telecom operator to another on a pan-India basis. In many instances, the MNP costs were being borne by the acquiring operator on behalf of the customers.
The reduction in the MNP charges, therefore, will benefit both the operators and the end users.