Mobile Number Portability- A ‘Static’ Yet Moving Experience

Posted on November 30, 2010 in Business and Economy

By Tejasvi:

Switch to the best service provider retaining the same mobile number. Sounds cool right! This will be the result of the flagging off of the services of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). This service would enable competition between service providers to give better services to attract more customers. Healthy competition is encouraged among the service providers. One of the benefits with MNP is that you don’t have to tell your friends about a new mobile number when you have changed your provider. Only thing you wouldn’t know if you are calling someone is their service provider, though the number series is that of the provider you can recognise.

Haryana was the first state in India to taste the launch of this new system. The MNP service would be available throughout India by January 2011. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put a Rs. 19/- porting (switching) charge on the customer for availing this service. The money would go to the new service provider who gives service to the customer.

The time for porting would be seven working days for the entire country except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and some North East licensed service areas; for these areas, porting would take 15 working days. MNP can be used by both post and pre-paid customers. Important thing to note here is that once you have switched to a new operator, you have to wait for a period of 3 months before switching to another operator/service provider.

The procedure to make the switch is very easy:-

  • Send an SMS to 1900 that reads PORT<space>mobile number from the mobile phone number you wish to port. For instance, if your phone number is 9876543210, type PORT 9876543210 and send it to 1900.
  • You will now receive an SMS that contains your 8-digit Unique Porting Code (UPC). Make a note of this number.
  • Approach the new carrier you wish to migrate to and ask for the prescribed form. You will need to make a mention of your UPC in this form.
  • Also, the UPC is valid for a period of 16 days and so you have to apply to the new carrier before the UPC expires.

For the implementation of MNP, India has been divided into two geographical zones consisting 11 service areas. The working of MNP follows the same procedure followed for MNP world-wide except a few countries, which is called Recipient-led porting. In this, the new service provider registers the user to its network and the network ID of the new service provider will be updated in the central database. The central or master database is controlled by a third party company and the two geographical zones have been allotted to Syniverse and Telecordia for issues relating to MNP and such. In the USA and some other countries, where this system has already been implemented, the service is free of charge. India has implemented it recently but it would take time to adjust to this change. So what, better late than never! Use it well India!

The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.