Every week, especially after the entry of Jio in the Indian market, new customer beneficiary offers are introduced to attract more and more customers. Getting a new sim card and its activation takes just a few minutes now but still many people prefer to use their old mobile numbers as they have shared it with a majority of their contacts. The companies have come up to solve this problem through the portability feature which allows the customer to switch network service provider without changing the mobile number.
TRAI’s new mobile number portability rules:
In a consultation paper released by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), it is mentioned that new guidelines regarding portability are read with the new draft norms. The telecom regulator is trying to reduce the time period for porting to two days from the current seven days.
“The draft rules are ready and we will publish them soon to invite public comment. Basically, the new norms aim to reduce the time (to port) and the discretion of the donor operator,” the official said, requesting anonymity to the original source.
This, the regulator believes, will ensure a hassle-free experience for consumers who wish to port from one network to another.
Under current norms, a subscriber must stay with one operator for at least 90 days before switching to another. The maximum period for porting is seven working days, except in J&K, Assam and the North-East, where it is fifteen working days.
“We want to bring this (porting period) down to two days,” the official cited above said.
After few telecom operators shut down earlier, TRAI was receiving many complains regarding switching and changing the number.
According to the data released by the TRAI in January 2018, there were 1.012 Billion active connections in India. It lost around 3 million users at that time with Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea accounting for 85% of total connections in India according to a statement released by TRAI. This data shows that India is a huge market for network companies.
“The major issues are non-generation of Unique Porting Code (UPC) by the donor operator or non-receipt of UPC by the subscriber, multiple rejections of porting requests by donor operators on various grounds, instances of fraudulent porting, issuance of interim bills for postpaid subscribers, non-refund of the prepaid balance and security deposits of postpaid subscribers, which create inconvenience and dissatisfaction to the mobile subscribers,” TRAI said in the consultation paper.
There are also cases of errors made by the subscriber while communicating the code, or by the person at the point of sale, entering the wrong code while submitting the porting request.
“Right now, the donor operator which issues the porting code knows that the subscriber is porting out and uses all tricks in the bag to create harassment for users,” the official said.
The regulator aims to entirely automate this process to ensure a smooth porting experience for users.
“There will be a 6-7 point checklist, which will seek answers to questions on eligibility criteria for a user to port out. This will have to be answered in an automated yes-or-no manner and only then can the unique porting code be generated,” the official said.
The draft norms, once issued, would be open for public comment for at least four weeks.
This is surely a great step towards faster portability and hence providing users an easier way to communicate by switching service provider faster than earlier.