TRAI fixes the fee for number portability


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.

Indian telecom subscribers

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.  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.

  1. […] with. At the same time the group would also like to shore-up substantial number of subscribers once Mobile Number Portability (MNP) comes into […]

  2. manish j varma says

    i have applied for port out from airtel mumbai to idea mumbai, on 20th jan 11, & also on 3rd feb but till date they have not port me out, on my regural calls, i get an answer that its not possible as my cell number is life time register and they cannot be port out.(my cell is pre paid 9892608323) Please let me know what would be the best way to get the port out done. Manish J Varma

  3. Ali Asgher Shafique says

    Mera Number Realince Company ka hai No. : 9098096052 hai. mein portability ke liye message send kiya. relience company rsponse hi nahi de rahi hai. mein bahut preshan hun. office per bhi koi dhang se baat nahi karta hai. mein apna number doosre network ke liye rakhna chahta huin. portability code dene ka kasht karein. Aur relince company per Action lein. Doosre loag bhi preshan hai.

  4. U S Sinha says

    Dear Sir,
    I am using an Airtel pre-paid mobile phone since last seven years.
    I want to change my service provider.
    Please clarify me can I avail the facility of Number Portability and what will happen to the remaining balance amount?
    Will it be refunded to me by Airtel or shall be directly transferred to the new service provider?
    Please reply me on my e-mail

  5. Abdull says

    Hi Fraud People of Airtel,

    I am Abdul, My Mobile number is 9994696960, I have given the Complain to 121 & 198 regarding balance deduction in my number last month.

    But till now there is no person to call me to resolve this Issue, [B]Airtel is a Fraud Company[/B], They are Robbing the money with our account..

    What happened to Nodal Officer and Appallete Offer??????????????????????????????

    If you have the Sympathy why you are not calling us and Resolving my Issue.

    I have Given the request to activate DND in another number @ 9894432608 4 months Back, still i am getting unwanted calls and SMS, If i Call CC they are taking the Request now, what you are doing from past 4 Months???????????

    Just having funda in the Office and Relaxing……

    You dont feel Shame……

  6. mani says

    Before implementing the number portability.all the mobile operators should enhance rationalized charges otherwise the MNP will not be a successful one which will create disputes dispute between operators.

  7. nitin says

    I was waiting for this news. In fact, today only I had a discussion with an IMRB consultant about this. But does the news also mention about the minimum number of days a subscriber has to stay with a particular operator before she switches on to another. There is a minimum window for the switch too.
    I think they are planning to put this window probably 60-90 days. This information is from TRAI only.

    1. Ankit says

      Thats interesting, there are a lot of details and much more will be clear as and when the implementation is rolled out.As for the switching process, it would take 4 days.
      What i am curious to see is how the whole telecom sector copes up with the competition and if we can actually get top quality service

    2. dpi says

      As per TRAI announcement 90 days wait to switch from one to other operator.

      1. Ankit says


        Could you please share the link for the same!! 90 days might be the min time that the customer should be with an exisiting service provider.
        Will find out more and update it.thanks

  8. Krish says

    This is the best move for which people are waiting for many days.This provides the increase in flexibility of changing networks & reducing the work thats need to be done after switching to another network(updating our new number to all other contacts).

    1. Ankit says

      Right Kirsh!! The best part is that virtually nothing needs to change except the operator:) I cant wait to switch to a different network once the portability happens.

  9. dpi says

    Really? Rs. 19 is unbelievable. On going price war totally changed the scenario for MNP.
    And When its going to be launched finally?
    Have a look at the website. Their call charge us Rs 1/min. :)

    1. Ankit Agarwal says

      Ya, even i was shocked at first seeing the 19 rs charge.Thanks for letting me in to Uninor, i neva seemed to have heard bout them before. 1 rs is a tad too much given that there are plans which give 50ps/min and the likes.

      More than price wars MNP should hopefully change the level of service that these operators provide

  10. arvind says

    I hope number portability allows users to shift between CDMA and GSM or Prepaid and Postpaid connections as well.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Yes, Arvind.
      You can shift between CDMA as well as GSM services and vice-versa.

      Rs. 19 & 4 days is all what it takes…I am actually super excited about this..I think this will help mobile consumers more than anything. Operators will remain on their toes and only the best one will survive.

      1. Rishie says


        I do not think MNP can enable shifting between CDMA and GSM as they are 2 different technologies and require different SIMs. MNP only allows you to switch between operators.


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