Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday announced the pan-India rollout of mobile number portability (MNP), which will allow mobile subscribers, both GSM and CDMA, to change their service providers, within a telecom circle, while retaining their numbers.
The portability facility, that was first launched in the Indian state of Haryana in November last year on a pilot basis, would be available to both postpaid and prepaid customers and subscribers of GSM as well as CDMA service. However, consumers will have to remain with the new operator for three months before moving on.
The other restriction is that the portability facility will be available only within a given licensed service area. In other words, subscribers cannot take their Delhi number to an operator in Mumbai. They can only change their operator within Delhi.
Switching from one network to another while keeping the same number is pretty straightforward: All customers have to do is send an SMS with their mobile number to 1900 (SMS PORT <mobile number> 1900) to get their unique porting code. After this, the process is essentially the same as getting a new connection.
The cost of porting a number to a new operator is Rs19, with the maximum porting time capped at 7 working days by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), except in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas, where it will be 15 working days.
The Process to change your operator through mobile number portability (MNP) is a very simple process, It involves sending an SMS, submitting an application to your desired new mobile phone service provider and a one time fee of Rs 19/- only.
1. Send an SMS to 1900 in the following format:
PORT <Your Mobile Number>
e.g. PORT 9123456789
(Note: ‘PORT’ is not case sensitive and keep space between port and your number).
2. You will receive a reply which will contain a unique ‘porting code’.
3. Send this unique code to the mobile operator that you have selected, through an SMS. The number to which you have to send your text message can be obtained from an operator’s website or, of course, from the ad blitz that will start soon. Remember, again, this unique code is valid only for a few days (say, 15 to 30 days). You will have to send this SMS to your new operator at the earliest. Else, you will have to repeat the procedure described in point (1) above all over again.
4. Your existing operator will communicate with the new operator after checking if you have any outstanding amount. If your account has a clear balance, the existing operator will go ahead with the approval for the number porting.
5. The subscriber would also have to fill and submit the prescribed form for MNP to the new operator. The subscriber would have to submit documents (like photo ID and address proof) along with the MNP form to the new operator. Post-paid subscribers will have to submit a copy of their latest bill as well.
6. You will receive an SMS, which will provide the time and date for porting. According to TRAI, it is mandatory for both the existing and the fresh operators to complete the process for number portability within four days after the first SMS.
7. You will receive another SMS from the new operator, confirming the switch. Your mobile phone may remain ‘dead’ or without network coverage for about two hours while the porting takes place. But don’t worry—you will be able to go ‘live’ again with the new operator—and your old number.
8. Remember, you can change your operator only once in every 90 days.
Mobile Number Portability FAQ’s
1. What is Mobile number Portability (MNP)?
Basically, MNP which is the short form of Mobile number Portability which allows you to retain the same number and allows you to switch to different operator irrespective of GSM or CDMA mobile operator.
2. What is the Benefit of using MNP?
In an era of competition where Customer is a King, you get a freedom to choose from the services of different operators present across your circle. Since this allows you to retain the number and change the operator you will be relieved from new set of numbers which you previously used to get when you change the number.
3. What is meant by the term Porting?
Porting is basically a technical word which means that your mobile number is ported to a new recipient operator or in short it’s an act of switching to a new mobile service provider.
4. How i can Port and what are the requirements for taking the advantage of MNP?
Read the procedure above and by following it you will be able to port your number to an operator of your choice. If you are a prepaid subscriber then you should have at least completed 90 days with the current operator before applying for MNP. If you are a postpaid customer, then here too you should complete 90 days with your current telecom operator before applying for MNP.
5. Is MNP available only for postpaid customers or prepaid customers can also avail this?
Irrespective of Prepaid or Postpaid, all subscribers who have been a customer of a particular operator for at least a period of 90 days.
6. Will my balance and scheme will be transferred with the number if i shift to any other operator?
No, all balances and schemes of your current operator will be lapsed and you need to choose from the plan which the recipient operator is offering.
7. Can i make use of MNP and shift to other operator without clearing the dues of my existing operator?
Unless and until you clear all the dues of your current postpaid connection you will not be allowed to port your number to any other operator.
8. What are the documents i need to carry when i go for porting my number?
You need to carry two recently clicked passport sized photos along with Proof of Address (POA) and Proof of Identity (POI). Do carry original documents as well as a copy of both.
9. Where i need to go for porting my number?
If you are a customer of Loop Mobile and wishes to move to Vodafone, then you need to go directly go to Vodafone’s official Gallery for porting your number.
10. Do i need to get porting code or the recipient operator will do the same?
It’s always better to take the UPC along with you to the recipient operator’s store. You just need to sms PORT (your 10 digit mobile number) to 1900 and within seconds you will receive the UPC from 1901.
11. What is the Porting charge, is it free?
Porting charge is not free; porting fee is fixed at Rs.19 by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), though some companies may offer porting charges less than Rs. 19, in some cases it may be nil due to immense competition in the telecom market.
12. How many days it will take to port my number?
Porting the number will not take more than 7 working days.
13. Can i shift from CDMA to GSM?
Yes, irrespective of CDMA or GSM, you can shift to the new operator and retain the same number. However you will need to have a GSM handset to accommodate the GSM Sim.
14. Can i cancel the porting request?
In an unlikely even if you wish to cancel the porting request you can do so but for this you need to give a written cancellation request within 24 hours of the porting request.
15. Are there any Cancellation charges?
There will not be any additional cancellation charges but the amount of Rs.19 which is the porting fee will not be refunded.
16. Can i shift within the network from Prepaid to Postpaid using MNP?
If you want to shift within the network like Postpaid to Prepaid or Prepaid to postpaid then it’s not required to exercise the MNP as you can do this without using MNP too. Just visit your Operator’s help desk and they will help you out regarding the same.
17. If am a customer of airtel Mumbai, can i port my number to airtel Maharashtra & Goa network or to any other network operator in Maharashtra & Goa circle?
Since, DOT has decided to implement Mobile Number Portability (MNP) within a circle; customer can port their number to another service provider as long as it is done within a circle. Portability between other circles (called Inter circle portability) is not allowed as yet.
18. Under MNP can i switch my Landline number to another operator?
As of now number portability is only made available for the Mobile customers, so Landline customers will not be able to use MNP service.
19. Do i need to submit the Old sim to the new operator?
No, in any case you should not submit your Old sim to the recipient operator as that sim will be with you.
20. Will there be any service disruption time during the MNP Process?
Yes, there will be a service disruption time of only 2 hrs during this process which will be preferably during the night time.
21. Can i port more than once?
Yes, as of now there is no cap on the number of times you can port to operator, as after every 90 days you can port your number to the operator of your choice.
22. If i have a Reliance number which is registered on my name, can i transfer the same number to any other person in the process of Mobile number Portability?
No, you cannot transfer the ownership in the process of Mobile number portability in any case.
23. How will I know when I have to replace my old SIM with the new SIM?
You will get an sms from the recipient operator with details like port-in date and time after which you can use your existing number on new sim.
24. For how long will be the Unique Porting Code be valid?
Unique Porting Code (UPC) received by you while making the porting request is valid for a period of 15 days after which if you wish to get UPC again then you need to again send Porting request to 1900.
25. Who is the recipient operator?
Recipient Operator is an operator or a service provider who will be providing mobile service to the subscriber after porting. In other words, recipient operator is the operator that a mobile subscriber wants to port to.