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Vodafone Idea (Vi) at a Losing End against TRAI’s MNP Order

Photo: PTI

Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator, has lost the case against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) order for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which was issued on December 7, 2021. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), in its order, said that TRAI is well within its powers to issue such an order and doesn’t require any interference.

With the tariff hikes hitting last in December 2021, it made things worse for low paying customers who wanted to port out from their current service provider. Furthermore, telecoms removed SMS benefits from lower denomination plans, which meant that low-paying customers cannot port out.

Thus, to ensure that this problem is resolved, TRAI asked all the telecom operators to allow subscribers to send port out SMS to 1900 regardless of whether their plans have SMS benefit or not. But Vodafone Idea (Vi) had a problem with this order and appealed against it in the TDSAT. But TDSAT has sided with the TRAI’s order, reports PTI.

However, TDSAT has asked TRAI to give appropriate time to Vodafone Idea (Vi) for the implementation of this order for all its subscribers. Which means that in the coming days, users can port out of their networks without having the need to recharge with an SMS bundled prepaid pack. This is surely going to hurt Vodafone Idea (Vi) as the Telco wanted to retain these customers.

Airtel wouldn’t mind this order at all as the Telco only wants high-paying quality customers to keep its average revenue per user (ARPU) figure higher than its competitors.