TRAI Probes Into Alleged MNP Violations By Airtel & Vodafone

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been available in India following TRAI’s directive since a year now. We earlier blogged about how the service has not become very popular among consumers. Besides, the fact that roughly 95% of Indian mobile consumers are on a prepaid plan and generally are not very interested in shifting network operators, there is also the issue of network operators rejecting many applications and sometimes seemingly for no solid reason. This has now reached a head and the TRAI is currently looking into this.
The TRAI has served show-cause notices to Vodafone and Airtel as many consumers have reported complaints against them for the rejected MNP applications. TRAI data indicates that during this year some 893 MNP requests were rejected by operators. Furthermore, TRAI has also prohibited operators from charging extra for SMSing 1900 which is the number to avail the MNP service.

A TRAI official said, “We have received their (Bharti and Vodafone) responses. The matter is under examination. After analyzing, we will decide our course of action,”. TRAI is investigating this issue by sending a team of its officers to telecom operators’ offices and  the telecom ministry has also been alerted to this. “The department of telecommunications (DoT) may also take necessary action at its end,” the official added.

According to a directive issued by TRAI on  May 24th,2011 rejection of an application on the premise of contractual obligations can only be done if it is a postpaid connection with a bundled phone or corporate connections. Also all those contacts which have an exit clause which consumers are not complying with.

TRAI has promised some clarity on the issue soon. The dismal performance or adoption of the MNP has made Telecom authority in to seeing why this is happening, Also there are have been many complaints against network operators delaying the porting and in some cases leaving the customer stranded for days and weeks. A thorough standardized and transparent process has to be implemented soon.

Although MNP is not being adopted enthusiastically, we are pretty happy that we have a choice to switch to any network. What about you?

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