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TDSAT halts TRAI MNP regulations

23 Jul 2012

India’s Telecoms Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has halted a direction of the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) removing the 90-day processing period for mobile number portability (MNP) for those operators that had their licences cancelled in February, reports the Hindu Business Line. By removing the minimum 90-day period that customers must stay with an operator before porting to an alternative cellco, the TRAI was looking to limit the impact of the mass licence cancellation on customers by allowing them to move away from cellcos that would be closing. However, the TDSAT said that the move discriminated against providers which may choose to repurchase concessions when they go up for auction later this year.

In its ruling, the TDSAT pointed to the TRAI’s apparently contradictory actions: despite removing their ability to compete by putting in place discriminatory regulations, the watchdog had previously stated that if the cancelled licensees such as Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) and Uninor were to be kept alive they would need to be regarded as full licence holders until the Supreme Court’s ruling comes into effect on 7 September and should be entitled to all related rights and protections.

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