The Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) has directed telecom operators Airtel, Jio and Vi to allow customers to port out with any prepaid or postpaid plan. The development comes after Jio, in a complaint to TRAI, said that Vodafone Idea’s new tariffs do not allow users to port to its network since the entry-level plans do not have SMS benefits. Through Mobile Number Portability (MNP), users can move to a rival telco while retaining their old number. Subscribers are required to send an SMS first to their service operator after which a request is initiated that may take four to five days.
The regulator quoted regulation 4 of the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009, and noted that it “provides that every Access Provider shall facilitate in its entire network, Mobile Number Portability to all subscribers, both prepaid and postpaid and shall, upon request, provide the same on a non-discriminatory basis.”
Earlier this month, Jio wrote to TRAI saying that Vodafone Idea’s new tariff structure restricts entry-level customers to port their mobile number from its network. Late last month, Vodafone Idea increased its prepaid tariffs up to 25 per cent. VIL increased the entry-level plan with 28 days validity to Rs 99 from Rs 75. However, the entry-level plan is not bundled with SMS service.
“Jio has complained to TRAI that VIL’s new tariff restricts people opting for low-value plans from porting their mobile number as outgoing SMS facility is not available in the entry-level plans of VIL,” PTI had quoted a source as saying. Jio’s complaint highlights that Vodafone idea Limited is providing SMS service in plans priced at Rs 179 and above. Airtel, Jio and Vi announced their tariff hikes in late November. The telcos had noted that the hike will help their average revenue per user (ARPU).