Pan-India Mobile Number Portability: “One nation, One number”

May 2015


The Government decided to implement inter-service area mobile number portability. In this context, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) brought out the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Sixth Amendment), 2015 on January 23, 2015 seeking comments of stakeholders for facilitating full MNP. Primarily, necessary amendments to the MNP service license were issued by DoT wherein it was stated that it would be implemented in the country within six months from the said amendment. In addition, DOT has incorporated the following in the amendment:

  • There is a reduction in timelines for number return process i.e. under the old regulations, after disconnection of the mobile network, the number had to be returned to the number range holder within ninety days. This time period now stands reduced to 60 days.
  • In case a post paid subscriber defaults in the payment, Donor Operator (DO) may request for disconnection of the ported mobile number. The limitation period is set at 30 days for issuing notice to mobile owner for payment and 60 days is the ceiling cap for the DO to bring forth the issue of non-payment. The recipient operator, on the other hand, will give a notice of 15 days to the subscriber to honour commitments to the DO, failing which the recipient operator will disconnect services.

PSA view – Just about 110.8 million, or 12 per cent, of the 924 million mobile users in India use roaming services and the people who relocate is about a tenth of these. Nationwide mobile number portability will benefit only these 110 million users initially. MNP might be a cause of worry to the service providers, since the telecom companies will lose out on roaming revenue. Further, telecom operators are facing difficulty in making technical changes to their networks to include national numbering plan.

Krishna Jhala