TRAI approves MNP, asks DoT to grant licences

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New Delhi, Apr 11: Telecom watchdog TRAI today said it supports the implementation of nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by June 2009 and has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to select an operator who will be licenced for providing and operating end-to-end MNP solution in the country.

TRAI has forwarded to the DoT the Draft Request For Proposal (RFP) and recommended that the MNP Clearing House Administrator (MCHA) should be licenced through a competitive bidding process. Earlier, TRAI has set a Steering Committee to deliberate issues pertaining to implementation of MNP in the country.

Based on the interim report of the Committee, the regulator has now come out with draft guidelines for appointment of a central agency.

Among some important criteria for the MNP implementation, the neutral third party should own and operate MNP Clearing house and logically centralised data base.

The company should not have more than 10 per cent equity directly or indirectly in any of the service providers in the country and vice versa.

The agency will have to bear the cost of setting up a system for MNP and can recover the cost from port transaction fees from the service providers.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) limits for the company will be as per service licence conditions that is 74 per cent, which is consistent with the existing policy of the government.

Respective Access/long distance operators will bear the cost of upgradation of their networks, TRAI said.

It also said in case of prepaid subscribers, the consumer will not be allowed to carry balance over to the other service provider.

Trai added that the time difference between 'break before make' arrangement should not be more than two hours that is the donor network should clear the porting process within two hours.


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