From January 2010, mobile users can change their telecom service provider while retaining their phone numbers as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 23/09/09 Wednesday issued regulations for implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) stating January 1, 2010, as the deadline to begin MNP in metros and category A circles. The service would be available in the rest of the country from March, 2010.

The regulator, however was silent on the most important aspect of 'porting charge' which is the amount that a mobile user shall have to pay for porting the number. The regulations come a year after the government had announced MNP implementation. The communications and IT minister, A Raja had last August said that MNP would be implemented last year however the process kept getting delayed.

According to a statement issued by the regulator, MNP facility shall be available only within a given licensed service area.

A subscriber holding a mobile number is eligible to make a porting request only after 90 days of the date of activation of his mobile connection. If a number is already ported once, the number can again be ported only after 90 days from the date of the previous porting.

The subscriber who wishes to port his mobile number should approach the recipient operator (the operator to whom the subscriber wants to port his number). The subscriber may be required to pay porting charges, if any, to the recipient operator. Also, the subscriber must clear all the bills issued prior to the date of porting. The subscriber shall give an undertaking that he has already paid all billed dues to the donor operator as on the date of the request for porting.

Also, he shall pay dues to the donor operator pertaining to the mobile number till its eventual porting, and that he understands and agrees that in event of non-payment of any such dues to the donor operator, the ported mobile number shall be liable to be disconnected by the recipient operator.

A subscriber may withdraw his porting request within 24 hours of its submission to the recipient operator. However, the porting charges shall not be refundable. Access providers are required to implement the all call query method.

The originating operator shall be responsible to route the call to correct terminating network.

Raghav

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