Over 2 million MNP requests are rejected every month

Twelve years after the launch of Mobile Network Portability (MNP), the service continues to face issues in India. On average,over 2 million MNP requests were rejected every month due to various reasons, including the original operator misleading users, withholding pending dues information, and even masquerading as the new operator executive to fraudulently reject the porting process.

Reliance Jio and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India (MITS) wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, asking the regulator to enforce stringent rules to avoid such delays.

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Persistent issues

Jio claims that there are many persistent issues with the current implementation of MNP Regulations, and certain measures instituted to benefit consumers and prevent bad debt to TSPs have now become measures to harass genuine customers and prevent porting.

For instance, according to Jio, rules around non-payment of dues that prevent customers from porting their number out of a certain operator’s network need to be abolished, especially as they are open to abuse by operators affected by MNP.

SMS-based porting

Jio also added that the SMS-based port withdrawal process needs to be abolished as well, as unscrupulous telcos are using it to generate false withdrawal requests. In a nutshell, Jio claims that telcos from whose network customers are porting their numbers will impersonate as the operator desired by the customer instead and initiate a process that ends up cancelling their porting request.

“The DOs (network from which the number is being ported) agents initiate calls to customers that have generated porting requests, masquerading as RO’s (the network that the customer wants to join) customer care. The caller then lures the customers into believing that he/she will help in completing his porting request quickly and asks the unsuspecting customer to click a link sent over an SMS. This link generates an SMS with the keyword ‘CANCEL’ to 1900. The customer is duped into clicking this link, believing that this will ensure that his current service with DO is cancelled and his porting will be expedited,” said Jio.

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Similarly, MNP Interconnection (MITS) said in its letter that the number of MNP holidays needs to be reduced from 19 holidays to 3 holidays. “Currently, there are 19 holidays configured throughout the industry in a calendar year, making it a no-port window. MITS has always observed a surge in porting during the holidays, either due to subscriber convenience / increase in operator campaigns. From a technical standpoint, we would like to inform that the MCH system and processes are fully automated and do not require manual intervention or personnel presence at all times. MITS is therefore of the opinion that the number of MCH holidays can be limited to only 3 national holidays: Independence Day (15th August), Republic Day (26th January), and Gandhi Jayanti (2nd October). This will prevent delays in subscriber porting of additional days that are declared holidays.”

MITS also added that the government should conduct awareness campaigns amongst customers to ensure that they are well versed in the porting process to avoid rejection of MNP requests on sundry mistakes, such as submitting the wrong keywords.

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