The telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) announced changes to its mobile number portability (MNP) rules last week. As per the latest amendment, if a SIM card has been swapped or replaced, the associated mobile number cannot be ported out to a different telecom operator for seven days. This is the ninth new amendment since the inception of MNP regulations. The new regulations aim to prevent and reduce SIM swap fraud in the country. The new rules will be applicable from July 1.

The Indian telecom regulator released the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2024 last week. As per the new regulations, customers are not allowed to port their mobile number to a different telecom operator if they have swapped or replaced their SIM card in the last seven days. These regulations are aimed at curbing the practice of porting mobile numbers by way of fraudulent SIM swap or replacement by unscrupulous elements, said TRAI in a circular.

It has also introduced an additional criterion for rejection of the request for allocation of a Unique Porting Code (UPC) that is essential for transferring a mobile number from one telecom operator to another. TRAI states that the UPC should not be allocated if the request for UPC has been made before the expiry of seven days from the date of the SIM swap or replacement of the mobile number.

The latest regulation by TRAI will come into effect from July 1. The MNP regulations were first introduced in 2009.

Users can switch their service provider without having to change their mobile number through the MNP facility. They can initiate the porting process by sending an SMS in the format PORT< ten-digit mobile number> to 1900. This will create a UPC and the user will get it through SMS. It can be used to place an MNP request.

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