"The Authority is of the opinion that there seems no justification for any enhancement of Entry Fee for Mobile Number Portability licensees for implementing Full Mobile Number Portability. The Authority recommends no enhancement of Entry fee for MNP licensees," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in its reply to DoT on MNP.
Nationwide or full MNP will allow mobile subscribers to shift their mobile service on to network of any telecom operator throughout the country while retaining same number. At present, MNP allows to change network within the same telecom circle.
The DoT had sent a reference to TRAI for reconsidering its opinion for additional entry fee, performance bank guarantee (PBG) and financial bank guarantee (FBG) that should be charged from existing MNP service providers for extending scope of their licences.
At present, two companies Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solution operate to provide MNP service under which mobile subscribers can change their telecom operators while retaining their number. TRAI said that these companies have still around 5 years before their license validity expires.
The regulator said that the potential subscribers to avail nationwide MNP would be very small. Besides, MNP service providers will have to incur cost to bring change in their infrastructure to provide nationwide MNP.
As per the licence condition, 50 per cent of this PBG was to be released by DoT after completion of 1 year but TRAI said that the department has not yet released this amount.
"An amount equal to 50 per cent of PBG i.e. Rs. 50 lakh may be kept till the end of their licence period and any excess amount pending with the DoT should be released immediately," TRAI recommended.
The regulator has recommended that DoT should continue with existing norm of keeping FBG equivalent to licence fee of two quarter which as per MNP service provider that department already has taken from them under their present licence norms.
"Authority recommends that the existing FBG equivalent to license fee for two quarters shall be continued," TRAI said. The recommendation of regulator along with views of DoT will be placed before inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission for its call on full MNP.