TRAI bars telcos and partners from offering MNP-specific tariffs

3 Sep 2021

Sector watchdog the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a direction clarifying that service providers may not offer special discounts to customers switching provider via mobile number portability (MNP). The TRAI’s direction notes that existing rules already prohibit the provision of differential tariffs to subscribers porting from the network of another operator. However, following recent complaints that telcos were still offering such tariffs, the operators denied the accusations but added that their channel partners may have provided some MNP-specific benefits to its customers without their consent or authorisation. As such, the TRAI has ordered all service providers to ensure that only the tariffs reported to the TRAI are offered through their channel partners, distributors and retailers. Further, the TRAI clarified that – especially in cases where a service provider’s name or brand is used for marketing – service providers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the TRAI’s regulatory guidelines, and must ensure that all tariff offers comply with existing regulations.