New Delhi: Mobile number portability (MNP) is set to become a quicker process and operators will have fewer discretionary powers to scuttle a porting request after new rules issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday. The regulator suggested a penalty of 10,000 on telecom operators be imposed every time they provide false details regarding a MNP request, where the number remains the same for a different service provider, and for each wrongful rejection of requests.

“To make the porting process faster and convenient, for all cases except corporate porting cases, in the revised process for validation of conditions and generation and delivery of unique porting code (UPC), it has been provisioned to establish a query response mechanism to enable the mobile number portability service provider to query the database of the donor operator on real time basis," Trai said in the Telecom Mobile Number Portability (Seventh Amendment) Regulations, 2018, that was made public on Thursday.

For MNP requests in the same circle, the porting timeline has been set at 2 working days while for requests to port numbers into another telecom circle, the timeline has been kept at 4 working days.

Previously, the maximum time that could be taken to facilitate MNP was seven working days, except in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, and the North-East, where it was 15 working days.

The validity of UPC has been kept 4 days in place of 15 days earlier for all telecom circles except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East for which the validity of UPC remains unchanged.

For the cases of corporate porting, the present limit of 50 mobile phone numbers in single authorization letter has been doubled.

Under previous norms, the porting request has been processed without evaluation of the eligibility conditions and only after completion of four days is the reason for rejection known to the subscriber. Under the new norms, the UPC would be generated only for the mobile numbers that meet the eligibility criteria set by the regulator.

The industry will have six months to implement the changes after which the new regulation will come into force. Moreover, to tackle instances of technical errors, Trai will issue appropriate quality of service norms as well. Trai had floated a consultation paper on the issue in April and announced draft norms in September.

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