Indian mobile operator, Uninor, must refund any balance of accounts belonging to its remaining subscribers in Mumbai and Kolkata, where the company has shut down its services, says the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
In a statement released Friday, the regulator said Uninor has 15 days to refund its subscribers in the two Indian cities where it has "a large number of active subscribers". TRAI added that due to Uninor's "sudden discontinuance", many mobile subscribers could not use the remaining balance in their mobile accounts and did not have enough time to port their numbers to other operators in the service area.
According to the regulator, the Supreme Court on February 15 ordered operators which did not bid in the 2G auction conducted on November 12 and 14, 2012, to cease operations. Uninor informed the regulator it discontinued its operations in its services areas on February 19, 2013.
Due to the sudden discontinuance, TRAI said Uninor must refund its users or help them port their numbers to another telco. The mobile operator also must inform its subscribers on how to port their numbers or refund their balance. It must publish details in local newspapers and on its Web site outlining contact details of its call center, set up to handle requests for porting.
TRAI also instructed the other mobile operators in Mumbai and Kolkata to accept porting requests of Uninor's subscribers.
Uninor had informed the regulator it would cease operation in 15 service areas including Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, North East, Assam, West Bangal, Odhisha, Kolkata and Tamilnadu. The operator had the most users in Mumbai and Kolkata, with 815,242 and 197,388 active subscribers, respectively. It had fewer than 1,000 subscribers for each of the other service areas.