To avoid the catastrophe if Supreme Court cancels Aircel’s 2G spectrum license, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the operator to prepare its 2G subscribers port to other operators. The new directive will affect only the 2G mobile subscribers of Aircel in fourteen telecom circle. 3G and other radio waves that the operator brought through subsequent spectrum auction are not impacted by this decision.
The whole issue mounted up earlier this month when India’s apex court stated that it would cancel Aircel’s 2G spectrum license and auction it if its executives T Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall from Malaysia’s Maxis Berhad do not appear in a lower court in the case against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran. Malaysia’s Maxis Berhad owns around 74 percent of Aircel’s equity.
Supreme Court also restrained Aircel on revenue generation from using 2G licenses and completely stalled transfer of airwaves to a third party. This may also adversely affect one of the largest consolidation deal in Indian telecom sector, the merger between Reliance Communications (RCom) and Aircel.
“Accordingly, Aircel/Dishnet Wireless Ltd is hereby directed to take necessary action well in advance to inform all existing subscribers through SMS to avail the Mobile Number Portability facility provisionally for continuity of their mobile service, in case the Hon’ble Supreme Court passes the proposed order, to avoid any inconvenience,” as per a directive from DoT to Aircel dated 18th January 2017.
The restraining order if passed will prevail on the 2G spectrum originally granted to Aircel Telecommunications in November 2006. The majority of Aircel’s customer base are still on 2G network which counts around 91 million subscribers. It has 2G spectrum license in 14 telecom circles – Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West).
Aircel in a separate press release stated that it is not a party to the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court and no allegation of wrongdoing has been made against it. It contends that the spectrum belongs to the company, a separate entity, and not Maxis.
Switch from Aircel to other Operators via MNP
- SMS Port (10 digits existing mobile number) to 1900 from your Aircel mobile number. You will instantly get an 8 digit Unique Porting Code through SMS. MNP porting code has a validity of 15 days after which you need to repeat the above step to regenerate a new code.
- Buy a new SIM from the other/recipient telecom operator. Fill in the Customer Enrollment Form (CEF) and Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Form, where you also need to provide the above generated Unique Porting Code.
- You will also need to provide the proof of address and identity or verify via Aadhaar e-KYC.
- Once the new telecom operator validates your request, you will get an SMS confirming the MNP port order.
- With-in 7 days you will receive another SMS confirming the date and time of porting.
- At the scheduled date and time replace your old SIM with new SIM and activate the service.
- You can continue using your old mobile number on new telecom operators network.