TRAI directs TTSL to refund balance to subscribers following spectrum surrender
The telecom regulator has directed Tata Teleservices to refund the unspent balance of prepaid mobile subscribers and security deposit of postpaid users following its surrender of administratively-allocated spectrum and closure of specific services in 16 circles.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) noted that under normal circumstances, the balance prepaid amount would have been utilised by subscribers before porting out their mobile number.
But premature surrender of spectrum, in this case, has forced a significant number of Tata Teleservices’ (TTSL) CDMA mobile subscribers to either port out or lose their mobile numbers and with unspent prepaid balance in the form of recharge coupon/ plans and security deposit.
TRAI asked TTSL to refund the unspent prepaid balance of the mobile numbers ported out, and also the unspent balance in the account of prepaid subscribers who could not port out their number, given they would not be able to avail of its services beyond February 28, 2019, the sunset date declared by TTSL. The regulator on Monday directed TTSL to submit to the authority the licensed service area wise compliance by August 20, 2019.
The compliance report, TRAI said, should mention the number of subscribers whose security deposit have been refunded and number of users along with details of security deposits unclaimed or undelivered.
It has also asked TTSL to prepare a password protected list of all the prepaid subscribers ported out between December 27, 2017 and February 28, 2019, recipient operator-wise indicating the unspent balance in their accounts at the time of porting and transfer the said amount to the recipient operator.
TRAI has also asked TTSL to process refund to the prepaid subscribers who have not been able to port out by February 28, 2019 as per procedure laid down by the authority.
TRAI said TTSL should “furnish compliance report of this direction together with the unspent prepaid balance amount along with number of subscribers available with TTSL to whom refund could not be provided and reasons thereof of such failure”.
The regulator has set August 20 as the deadline for furnishing the compliance report on all these directions.
Bharti Airtel is slated to acquire Tata Group’s consumer mobile telephony business, and the deal is now awaiting telecom department’s nod.