TRAI has announced that the new fee of Rs 5.74 for mobile number portability will be effective from September 30, 2019. The telecom regular adds that the new cost was computed on the basis of cost reimbursement following the change in architecture. The new per port transaction charge (PPTC), reduced by almost 70 percent, will benefit recipient telecom operators.
TRAI’s new MNP fee goes into effect from September 30
Currently, the recipient telecom operators have to pay Rs 19 for every consumer acquired, to MNP service providers such as Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions. “These (mobile portability) charges are based on a cost reimbursement principle and computed accordingly to arrive at a Rs 5.74 pricing to be effective from September 30,” TRAI chairman RS Sharma told ETTelecom.
Once the new tariff for MNP kicks in, telecom companies such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio can save nearly Rs 75 crore annually. “We have changed the architecture of MNP. Initially, it was a Unique Porting Code (UPC) being generated by donor operators that have a legitimate interest to retain their subscribers, and have more rejections,” Sharma told the publication.
While telcos pay Rs 19 for acquiring MNP customers, they charge consumers between Rs 3 and Rs 5 only for SMS that produces porting code. Mobile number portability or MNP is a facility that allows telecom subscribers to switch to another telecom operator without changing their mobile number. The porting charge was reduced to Rs 4 from Rs 19 by telecom regulator in January last year.
However, the amended regulation was quashed by the Delhi High Court in March this year, following a case filed by Syniverse Technologies. In July, Reliance Jio filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the verdict by Delhi High Court. The new announcement has reportedly shattered the hopes of MNP solution providers. They aimed to recover close to Rs 120 crore of combined porting fee arrears retrospectively from telcos since February 2018.
Telecom executives say that the volume of porting customer requests have increased substantially. The new regime will help these companies save some cost. Skyniverse reportedly objected to the new regime and sought a week’s time additionally. Now, it seems like these companies will pivot to volume as well.