Trai directs Aircel to submit report on subscriber port-out in 6 circles
New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed Aircel Ltd to submit by 20 March a report with details of the number of subscribers which have successfully ported out and the remaining who could not port out across six circles, and the reasons for the same.
The report should also mention all Aircel prepaid mobile numbers which could not be ported out and the total unspent amount of such subscribers till 10 March, Trai said.
This comes after Aircel and Dishnet Wireless Ltd, collectively known as the Aircel group, informed the regulator on 1 December regarding surrender of licence in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh (West) with effect from 60 days from the date of notice of surrender.
In October this year, Reliance Communications called off plans to merge its wireless business with Aircel, a deal signed in September last year, citing legal and regulatory uncertainties as well as ‘intervention of vested interests to derail the deal’.
Aircel, in its letter to Trai, had said that due to constant licensing and regulatory changes in the last 7-8 years and hyper competition in the telecom industry, it was extremely difficult and economically unviable for it to run business operations in the respective six circles and the company was constrained to surrender the licences.
Companies in the telecom sector are facing a brutal tariff war after the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which entered the sector with free offerings in September last year and later brought down tariffs which incumbents were forced to match, increasing pressure on revenue and margins.
The regulator, in the direction issued on Wednesday, said after the surrender of licence by Aircel, many prepaid and postpaid subscribers will be inconvenienced and forced to port out their mobile number to other service provider of their choice and some of the subscribers may not be able to port out by the sunset date intimated by the company.
Trai has thus directed the company to issue a public notice on the main page of its website, informing subscribers regarding extension of validity of unique porting codes till 10 March and to port out their mobile number to any other telecom service provider till that date.
It has also directed Aircel to furnish by 26 December the status of the number of prepaid and postpaid subscribers as on 30 November.