Mobile Number Portability, or MNP as it is commonly referred to, has been one of the most appreciated moves by the telecom industry in the recent past. However, for many subscribers, making the transition from one network to another has not been easy, to say the least.
In what may be counted as another instance of violation, a report by the Economic Times says that TRAI has asked state-run telco BSNL to explain why it denied the number porting facility to over 57,000 subscribers in January this year. BSNL will have to submit its reply within 7 days, failing which it would attract a fine of Rs 5,000 for each violation.
In September last year, TRAI issued its Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability (Fourth Amendment) regulations, 2012, as per which fines would be imposed upon telcos rejecting porting requests arbitrarily. On a previous occasion, too, TRAI revealed that ever MNP has been introduced, the percentage of rejections of the porting requests of subscribers has only been growing.
BSNL asked to explain (Image credit: Getty Images)
Further, several donor operators (the operator you're currently associated with, and want to quit) were found to be rejecting several porting requests by taking in cancellation requests, either in a written form, or through an SMS or a voice call from the subscriber, which it said was illegal, since there is no such provision in the regulations that allow a donor operator to accept withdrawal or cancellation of porting requests it receives from a subscriber.
Interestingly, in March this year, it was brought to the Parliament's notice that TRAI had till then not penalised operators for rejecting MNP requests. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Communications and IT, Milind Deora, said, “Under these regulations till date no penalty/fine is imposed on any of the service providers by TRAI.”
TRAI issued its circular after it received complaints from subscribers about their porting requests being rejected on various grounds. “On examination, it was noted that rejection of porting requests of the subscribers done by the service providers in several cases were not in accordance with the regulation,” Deora said.