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Trai, DoT differ over number portability

TELECOM TANGLE

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

MNP is a facility through which a subscriber can retain the same number even after changing the service provider.

Trai had forwarded to the DoT the draft Request for Proposal (RfP) for selection of a single operator, which would be licensed for providing and operating end-to-end MNP solution in the country.

The DoT has already formed a committee to process the RfP.

However, in a recently held meeting, some members were in favour of exploring the option of four Mobile Number Portability Clearing House Administrators (MCHAs) and Number Portability Database (NPDB) on grounds of security and anti-monopoly.

The DoT is yet to take a decision on the same.

But the telecom regulator Trai, which has suggested that the MCHA and NPDB be owned and operated by one legal entity licensed by the government, has expressed concern over this option. It said this would push up the MNP operator's cost leading to rise in tariffs and also delay the implementation of MNP besides leading to a non-uniform rate for MNP services across the country.

In a letter to Telecom Secretary Sidhharth Behura, Trai Chairman Nripendra Misra said: "Setting up of four MCHAs and NPDBs will increase the total capex and opex linearly. Each service provider will have to interconnect with all the four MCHAs and NPDB leading to substantial increase in their set up costs also."

Misra said the reduction in the marketshare of each MNP licensee (being limited to a region) will increase porting transaction fee, reducing the viability of the service for subscribers.

There could be synchronisation problems as well, leading to issues related to quality service, he said.

He added that with four MNPOs, one in each regions, quoting a different port transaction fee based on market potential of the area, it would lead to a situation of different porting fee being charged from subscribers in different areas.

Trai said its proposal, which outlined a centralised agency, has the benefit for offering least expenditure for both access service providers and MNPOs.

A single MNPO would ensure better coordination with various service providers for sorting out pre- and post-implementation issues.

Trai had also said a single entity would keep the port transaction fee low, besides quick rollout and homogeneous architecture for implementation and quality of service would be same.

Favouring the nationwide implementation of mobile number portability by June 2009, Trai had recommended that the MCHA should be licensed through a competitive bidding process.

First Published: Mon, May 19 2008. 00:00 IST
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