Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi) customers will soon be able to port out on any recharge plan

TRAI orders Jio, Airtel, Vi, and other operators to allow SMSes for porting out to every subscriber on any prepaid recharge plan

Highlights
  • TRAI orders telecom operators to provide MNP facilities to every subscriber irrespective of their prepaid or postpaid tariff plan.
  • Earlier this month, Jio expressed its displease over Vi discouraging subscribers with lower-value tariff plans to port out to rival telcos.
  • TRAI also noted that many subscribers could not send requests for porting codes despite having sufficient balance.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has ordered telecom operators to allow their subscribers to port out to other network operators irrespective of their tariff plan with immediate effect, reports Economic Times. The order comes days after Jio expressed its concern over other telecom operators discouraging subscribers from porting out to other operators. Jio asked the authorities to look into Vi and Airtel’s new tariff plans in a letter sent to TRAI. As per Jio, Vodafone Idea subscribers need to be on the Rs 179 tariff plan to avail the SMS services, restricting users from sending out porting messages on lower-valued tariff plans.

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In a two page order put out on Thursday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said, “The Authority, hereby directs all access service providers to enable, with immediate effect, for all mobile subscribers, both prepaid and postpaid, requesting for a unique porting code, the facility to send SMS on short code 1900.” Mobile Number Portability (MNP) needs subscribers to send a message to their operators. After which, it takes around 4-5 days to process the porting request further. 

Now, Vodafone Idea requires subscribers to recharge with the Rs 179 plan instead of the Rs 149 recharge plan to avail the SMS services. So, subscribers with lower value recharge plans can’t port out to other operators. Also, subscribers might not port to rival operators once recharging their numbers with a higher plan, thus creating a barrier for customers to move to other telecom operators.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said that it had received several complaints of subscribers being unable to send messages to 1990 for porting out despite having a sufficient balance. “This is in contravention of provisions of MNP regulation as it takes away the rights of customers to avail the Mobile Number portability facility,” said TRAI.