Indian telecoms regulator Trai has agreed to reduce charges for mobile number portability by nearly 80% to a maximum of 4 rupees ($0.06) in a move expected to benefit both consumers and operators.
The price cut, which will take effect shortly, was motivated by the upsurge in the volume of porting requests since MNP was introduced in 2015, Trai said in a circular.
The mobile industry had been pressing the regulator to eliminate the current 19 rupee per port transaction charge or reduce it to a maximum of 2 rupees, but the move had been opposed by mobile number portability service providers.
But Trai said the financial results of these providers for the past two years have led the regulator to believe that the previous 19 rupee ceiling is too high compared to the cost and volume of MNP requests.
Operators will still be free to charge less per MNP request received after the price ceiling is lowered.
In a statement, COAI director general Rajan Mathews said in a number of cases, operators had been bearing the cost of MNP on behalf of customers seeking to be ported in, so the price reduction will benefit both customers and mobile service providers.