Finally, we have an official statement from India’s telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about the status of Aircel. The massive debt-hit telecom operator, who is facing service disruption or more accurately service outage in most of its serviceable telecom circles has approached TRAI, requesting the regulator to allocate additional Mobile Number Portability (MNP) codes to generate UPC for its subscribers.
Aircel’s mobile subscribers in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, North East, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal can now request MNP codes and thus port out from the network to another telecom operator.
The Aircel Group, which comprises of Aircel and Dishnet Wireless has written a letter on 22nd February 2018 to TRAI, informing it’s deep financial crisis which has also resulted in closing operations in six of their circles on 31st January 2018. This six telecom circles include Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (West). There was also report about Aircel filing for bankruptcy at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
Over this financial stress, the telecom operator has been severely impacted by their major Infra providerGTL Infra, who has turned off as much as one-third of their total sites in different licensed service areas across the country. Thus, these might may be the main reason for service outage of Aircel network in these telecom circles.
As an emergency measure, Aircel is working out with other telecom operators on intra circle roaming arrangements. Recently, Aircel was able to sign a deal with state-run telecom operator BSNL in Tamil Nadu telecom circle. This type of arrangements will help subscribers to remain connected and most importantly generate MNP code to port out from the network.
During the recent service outage, Aircel received a massive number of requests for MNP porting. However, generation of Unique Porting Codes (UPC) was delayed due to capacity constraints in their servers. Thus to help their subscribers in MNP port out to other telecom operators, Aircel has requested TRAI to issue direction for allotting additional codes to generate UPC in telecom circles where their subscriber base is over one million.
Now, TRAI will help Aircel to issue porting code to every subscriber, subjected they were on Aircel’s network for a period of 90 days. The telecom operator has also requested the regulator to extend the validity of UPCs up to forty-five days.
Both Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers of Aircel can now request MNP porting. However, you should make sure to utilise any unspent balance before porting out from the network. If in case, due to network issue you’re not able to use the balance, then the telecom operator will issue the balance amount in the form of recharge coupons or plans.
According to TRAI’s new direction, the UPCs generated from today will be valid till 15th April 2018. Aircel won’t be rejecting any porting-out request from its subscribers during this period.