The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) slashed off the rates applied on processing of mobile number portability (MNP) by 79% to bring it down to Rs 4 instead of Rs 19 as the regulatory board felt that the current rate were ‘too high’ compare to the cost and volume of transaction and its processing.

TRAI had fixed the transaction charge for every porting request to Rs 19 through the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Per-Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations, 2009. But as per the regulatory board, “after reviewing the financial results of both the MNP Service Providers (MNPSPs) and the upsurge in the volume of porting requests in the past two years, the Authority opined that the present charge of Rs 19 is quite high as compared to cost and volumes of transaction involved.” Hence, the telecom regulator of India, on Wednesday announced a slash down in mobile number portability rates by almost 79 percent to a maximum of Rs 4, citing lower cost and higher volumes for such transactions.

Back in December, a consultation paper had floated around on the MNP charges and later on, an open house discussion was conducted on the issue. During the discussion, telecom operators and industry body COAI said the transaction charge of Rs 4 are on the higher side and should be brought down to Rs 2, while the MNPSPs felt that the current rate of Rs 19 was reasonable and should not be revised downward. However, the government said that the decision of cutting down the MNP rates was taken after taking discussions and comments from the industry stakeholders.

The number of MNP requests had increased exponentially during last year as it jumped from 6.4 million during 2010-11 to 36.8 million in 2014-15. The reduction on the root-ends of the telecom network will mean a definite reduction for the charges levied from customers. Also, TRAI mentioned that recipient operators are free to charge a lesser amount from the subscriber for Mobile Number Portability – we can only imagine what Jio will do to lure more customers. As per TRAI, the revised rates will come into effect from the date of official Gazette notification.

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