How to do Mobile Number Portability in India
What is Mobile Number Portability
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enables users to retain their existing mobile phone number even if they opt to switch for another network service provider.
The technology behind Mobile Number Portability is related to the routing of calls by using a central database of ported numbers. Service providers use this database to find out which network to send a call to.
Mobile Number Portability in India
Mobile Number Portability in India allows customers to port even between pre-paid and post-paid options. The first phase of MNP in India finally rolled out on 25th November 2010 from the state of Haryana. As per the Union Minister of Communication and IT, Kapil Sibal, the MNP services are expected to be launched in other parts of the country from 20th January 2011. Users will also be able to switch between CDMA and GSM networks. The main database of ported numbers will be managed by a third party firm.
As an update, MNP has been successfully started from 20th January 2011. All major mobile network service providers are offering this great service to enhance the mobile experience and get the best possible network.
Charges to port your number
As of now, mobile subscribers in Haryana will have to pay a maximum of Rs 19 to new operator to switch between different service providers present in the state. Charges are completely up to the new service provider, that whether they want to charge any fees or not. To start MNP services, state run BSNL announced that there would be no migration charges for the customers to avail MNP services. Tata Docomo is also offering some cool offers to lure subscribers to switch to its network.
Limitations / Things to remember
There are not many limitations as such, but once you have ported to different service provider, you can not change the operator for the next 90 days. The whole process of switching from one operator to another should not take more than 4 days and your number will be dead for about 2 hours between 10PM to 5AM.
As of now, you can switch to any network provider within your circle only; and the inter-circle portability has yet not been implemented. One major limitation is that you need to take the new SIM of your new service provider and everything is almost the same as getting a new connection, besides a new number.
One thing you must remember is that your balance will not be carried forward to the new operator in case of prepaid connection. In case of postpaid connection, all dues must be cleared.
An SMS can change your LIFE
How to avail Mobile Number Portability service
Though it takes few days to switch to another operator, but retaining your mobile number is easy. Below are the steps to easily change your mobile network service provider.
1. To retain your existing mobile number, you need to send an SMS to 1900 in the following format:
Replace 9999999999 with your mobile number.
2. You will get an SMS reply that contains a unique porting code. This code comes with an expiry time.
3. Apply to the new preferred operator with the code within the prescribed time while purchasing the new SIM. If the code gets expired, you need to apply again for the code.
4. The new operator will communicate with existing operator and ask for permission. If there are no dues pending then approval will be given for porting.
5. If approved, the new operator will provide you the expected time of porting, which should not be more than 4 days. However, the subscriber will be allowed to cancel the porting request within 24 hours.
6. On the provided date and time, the current operator will disconnect the number and pass this information to MNP provider.
7. When porting is complete, you will get an SMS from the new operator and your phone may be dead for about 2 hours when the switching takes place.
8. Enjoy the service and network of your new operator.
As expected, the smaller operators decreased their tariffs to attract more customers, but those with the better network infrastructure are the clear winners. So, start looking out for better plans and network in your area, and switch the service provider of your choice.