Telecom department directs Aircel to inform subscribers about availing MNP

Aircel-Moves-CourtThe telecom department has asked Aircel to inform all customers to provisionally avail mobile number portability (MNP) to continue their services in the event that the Supreme Court passes an order to cancel the carrier’s airwaves allocated in 2006. “Aircel/ Dishnet Wireless is hereby directed to take necessary action well in advance to inform all existing subscribers through SMS to avail the mobile number portability (MNP) facility provisionally for continuity of their mobile service, in case the Supreme Court passes the proposed order, to avoid any inconvenience,” the DoT has said in a letter to the Chennai-based telecom services provider.
The DoT direction does not mention the exact date from which Aircel must begin informing customers, but adds that the MNP facility can be exercised by subscribers “provisionally”.
A large majority of Aircel’s present customer base of 91 million would be 2G customers, industry insiders said.
The letter follows a Supreme Court order on January 6, where it threatened to cancel Aircel’s licenses given in 2006 if T Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall did not appear in trial court.
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had asked DoT to look for an alternative service provider for Aircel’s subscribers, and added that department could even think of auctioning the spectrum off.
The apex court restrained revenue generation from using 2G licenses and stalled transfer of airwaves to a third party.
“Aircel was not a party to the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court,” the company said, adding that it was seeking legal advice on the effects of the orders passed by the Supreme Court for appropriate steps, including preserving its assets.
“As it currently stands, the business and operation of the Company are continuing as usual.”
Aircel was granted telecom service licenses in 14 circles including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat, Haryana and Karnataka, in 2006.
“As the restraint of use of 2G spectrum (licenses whereof were originally granted to Aircel in November 2006), would entail adverse consequences to subscribers, this ministry has been directed by Hon Supreme Court to devices ways and means whereby earlier subscribers (of 2G spectrum licenses, granted in favour of Aircel) can be transferred provisionally, to some other service provider, in case the necessity to pass the proposed order arises,” DoT added.

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