Telecom sector has been the talk of the town ever since DOCOMO created a stir with its per second billing. What followed was a continuous barrage of price wars among the competitors with Reliance heading the pack. Eventually TRAI made it mandatory for all telecom operators to restructure the pricing structure and switch to per second billing tariff plans. This sent shockwaves amongst the market players with industry analysts pegging the revenue losses of the telecom operators in billions.
The number portability is another path breaking initiative from TRAI which is going to change the way the telecommunication sector operates. In all its simplicity , number portability will allow customers to switch to any network of their choice without losing out on the phone numbers. Changing phone numbers is a major pain that we all face in today’s time and hence, even if we are not happy with the existing service provider we have to stick to them. Number portability is going to change that putting the customer at ease to choose the best.
One aspect of the number portability scheme subjected to a lot of speculation was the fee to switch service providers. There were talks that the estimated charge to avail number portability could be around Rs. 300 with chances of it going down to Rs. 200. Â However, TRAI wanted to ensure that the customer is not over burdened by the fee and and should it negatively influence his/her decision , the scheme would not hold any water.
TRAI has laid all the speculation to rest and announced the maximum fee that the subscriber needs to pay in order to avail number portability. Any guesses of what the fee is?
The fee to switch networks has been fixed at a maximum of Rs.19 . Yes, you are reading it right and there is no typing mistake here. TRAI has made it super easy for the subscriber to make a decision on whether to switch to number portability or not.
The subscriber now only needs to make up his mind of which provider is offering the best price and the best tariff plans.The services providers are though free to levy charges below or equal to the maximum prescribed fee.
The marginal fee is a step in the right direction and should raise the bar for service providers. It will be difficult to hold onto to customers until the service providers continue to maintain and impart high quality of service. The fear of losing subscribers should keep the service providers on their toes to continuously better themselves.
The new entrants like TELENOR could benefit hugely by Mobile Number Portability if they can better the existing service providers in quality and pricing.
Are you eagerly awaiting the chance to switch your existing service provider? With the fees to switch virtually nil , Mobile Number Portability might just be a hit with the masses and probably spell doom to companies NOT offering up to the mark services.