After mobile number portability Trai goes for cut in roaming charges

Steep cut in call rates and SMs rates will benefit consumers

GN Bureau | February 27, 2015



After announcing pan-India mobile number portability, the telecom regulator has proposed cut in roaming tariffs.

“Through the Amendment Order, the Authority intends to reduce the ceiling tariffs for national roaming services,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement. This means mobile subscribers can look forward to lower charges as TRAI has proposed a sharp cut of about 35 per cent for making calls and up to 80 per cent for sending messages while roaming.

From Re 1 per minute the Trai has proposed to cut down maximum charges that can be imposed on outgoing local calls during roaming to 65 paise per minute. On STD call rates during roaming the proposal is to reduce it to Re 1 per minute from Rs 1.5 per minute.

For incoming calls the rates are proposed to be halved. The regulator wants charges to be 45 paise per minute instead of 75 paise.

On SMS during roaming it says the charges should be maximum 25 paise. Local SMS should be charged a maximum of only 20 paise compared Re 1 that can be levied at present.

A final order on these proposals will be issued after the comments are received from stakeholders by March 13.

Meanwhile, the Trai has ordered mobile number portability anywhere in the country from May 3.

Mobile number portability (MNP) currently allows consumers to change their service provider while retaining the same number only within a telecom circle, which in most cases is limited to a particular state.

Once the pan-India MNP kicks in, a subscriber who shifts from Delhi to Bangalore, for instance, will be able to retain the same number while selecting a different service provider.

Apart from facilitating the pan-India portability, the Trai has made some changes in the porting process as well. In case a postpaid subscriber defaults in paying bill which was due to the donor operator (previous service provider) from who the subscriber has ported out, the donor operator has to give a notice within 30 days of the due date of payment of its outstanding bill. After a lapse of 60 days from the due date of payment of the outstanding bill, the donor operator will not be entitled to raise non-payment disconnection requests.

The recipient operator in turn will give a 15-day notice period for making such payment failing which the outgoing services of the defaulting subscriber will be debarred for 15 days. In case, the subscriber fails to make payment within 15 days, the number will be disconnected permanently by the recipient operator.

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