Concerned over subscribers facing problems in exercising Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, Trai has asked operators not to reject a request if the amount outstandings are less than Rs 10.
Telecom regulator Trai's directive came in the wake of telecom operators rejecting the request of subscribers for porting on the ground of "contractual obligation" and "outstanding payment dues" under MNP.
"See our figures reveal that about 20- 25% of the requests are not being ported and partly the reasons [for not porting] are contractual obligations, amount outstanding then the number not being properly recorded etc. These two issues we said that we have given a direction yesterday and that will ease the matter quite a lot," Trai Chairman JS Sarma said.
The directive stated that if the outstanding payment due from the subscribers in the previous bill is less then Rs 10 which the service provider may include in the subsequent bill of the subscriber without any penal charges.
On the ground of subsisting contractual obligation, Sarma added, "We have said clearly to define that when there is actual contractual obligation."
As per teleocm bodies COAI and AUSPI, contractual obligations should be limited to including bundled handset offer with the written agreement having exit clause and corporate connection with a contractual agreement having an exit clause.
Trai has given 10 days to report compliance to the authority's directive.
In January this year, the government had offered the nation wide mobile number portability services to all subscribers in the country.
As per Trai data released in March, the number of unsatisfied mobile phone users crossed 38 lakh by the end of February, with Gujarat reporting the highest number of customers willing to change their service providers through MNP Service.
As per the data reported by the service providers to Trai, by the end of February 2011, about 38.33 lakh subscribers submitted their requests to different service providers for porting (shifting) their mobile number.