TRAI orders telcos to allow SMS for porting regardless of tariffs

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ordered telcos to allow users to be able to port out to another telecom operator irrespective of their prepaid or postpaid tariff value.

“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 shortcode 1900, in order to exercise their right to avail the porting facility… irrespective of the value of the tariff offers/vouchers,” says TRAI in a two-page order.

The announcement comes days after the telecom regulator received complaints from subscribers for not being able to send SMS on shortcode 1900, a four-digit number to generate a unique porting code for availing MNP facility. The complaint also reported that telcos were not providing outgoing SMS facility in certain prepaid vouchers. This means customers who want to port out need to have a higher tariff plan to send out the SMS.

“The Authority is of the view that this practice of non-provision of the facility of sending MNP related SMS in certain pre-paid vouchers/plans is in contravention of the provisions of MNP Regulations, as it takes away the consumer’s right, provided for in the regulations, to avail mobile number portability facility,” it said in the notice.

Last week, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed to remove charges on USSD-based mobile banking and payment services.