Two leading telecom firms, Bharti and Vodafone, have come under the scanner of the Telecom Regulatory allegedly Authority of India (Trai) for violating mobile number portability (MNP) norms.
The regulator has issued showcause notices to both companies, seeking information based on complaints from subscribers that their requests for MNP were rejected, sources in the know said.
"We have received their (Bharti and Vodafone) responses. The matter is under examination. After analysing, we will decide our course of action," a Trai official said. Trai is investigating the rejection of MNP requests by various service providers by sending a team of its officers to telecom operators' offices, they said, adding the matter has also been brought to the notice of the telecom ministry. "The department of telecommunications (DoT) may also take necessary action at its end," the officials said.
According to data with Trai, 893 MNP requests have been rejected by operators. Trai had issued a directive to all cellular mobile telephone service providers and unified access providers on December 3, 2010, prohibiting charging extra for SMSes sent to '1900', the number for availing the service.
Regarding payments from subscribers availing the MNP service, Trai recommended if the unpaid amount in the previous bill was less than Rs 10, the service provider may include these in the subsequent bill of the subscriber without, any penal charge.
In order to reduce the number of porting rejections by service providers, Trai had issued directions to service providers on May 24, 2011, specifying that rejection on the premise of contractual obligation can be done in case of postpaid connections with bundled handsets, or corporate connections, which have an exit clause that has not been complied with by subscribers.
The MNP service was made nationwide from November 25, 2010, allowing cellphone users to switch operators without changing numbers. According to eligibility criteria for MNP, customers are required to have cleared all of their outstanding bills before making an application, DoT said.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 05:53:04 IST