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TRAI lowers MNP fee by 79%

1 Feb 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has amended regulations on mobile number portability (MNP), lowering the charge for moving a mobile number to a different carrier from INR19 to INR4 (USD0.298 to USD0.063). The fee – known as the ‘per port transaction charge’ – is paid by the recipient operator to the relevant MNP service provider (MNPSP). The ceiling price was set at INR19 by the TRAI in 2009 using financial data submitted by the two MNPSPs at the time, based on the estimated cost of offering the service over a five-year period. The TRAI reviewed the costs associated with MNP in 2017 and found that the charge was too high and in December that year published a draft resolution to lower the fee. The regulator notes that most stakeholders argued that the TRAI’s proposed rate of INR4 was still too high, arguing in favour of lowering the rate further still, to INR2. However, the MNPSPs countered that the rate of INR19 was reasonable, and should not be revised, pointing out that the current move towards consolidation in the wireless market will lead to a decline in porting volumes due to the reduction in the number of potential mobile service providers.

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