Everyone was waiting for it. Everyone is excited about it. Yes – Mobile Number Portability is finally getting launched on 20th January 2011 throughout India. It was launched alone in Haryana on 25th November 2010.
I wrote one post about it in November but instead of editing it, I am writing a new detailed one here. Please refer and tell your friends about this post.
Before writing the details – please take a note of the fact that, we may or may not face major network issues on 20th January. Be ready if we do because this happened everywhere, even though it was only launched in Haryana.
There is a lot of talk about exact rules, documents required and charges required for porting a mobile number. And to get a closer and clearer picture, I am taking some time out to write this for your reference.
What is Mobile Number Portability?
According to TRAI (Telephone Regulatory Authority of India) Regulation dated November 20, 2009.
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) allows the subscribers to keep their existing mobile telephone number when they move from one Access Provider to another irrespective of the mobile technology or from one cellular mobile technology to another of the same Access Provider, in a licensed service area.
How to port your number to other Mobile Service Provider?
There is a standard procedure (as suggested by TRAI) to be followed by mobile phone users for porting.
The very first step to begin is: You will have to send one SMS to 1900 (This is a Toll Free number) in following format:
- PORT <Your Number>(For example, write PORT 9822012345 and send it to 1900)
Where should be replaced with YOUR 10 digit mobile number. Do not use +91 or 0 in the prefix.
You must send this request from the same mobile number which you want to be ported.
You should immediately receive an SMS reply with your own 8 digit UPC (Unique Porting Number).
This unique porting code is provided by your existing mobile operator (known as Donor Operator in case of MNP). This UPC will expire in 15 days. It is mandatory that you must send application to new operator within 15 days time. Consider sending an application within 10 days to be on a safer side.
Contact your new service provider (Recipient Operator in case of MNP) or visit their stores / offices for further process. It is necessary that you mention your 8 digit UPC in your application and give them all required Documents. You must pay Rs. 19/- as Porting Charge to this new Recipient Operator along with your application and documents.
Porting Charge of Rs. 19/- is NOT REFUNDABLE in any case of Approval or Rejection.
Recipient Operator will then send a request to your Donor Operator to check If there are any dues pending, any issues with your number or for ownership/contact change requests pending. After this complete verification process Donor Operator may send Approval or Rejection to Recipient Operator.
Recipient Operator will tell you about the status of Approval or Rejection through SMS within a maximum of 7 days (from the date of application with them). Please note that Approval or Rejections are done only by a Donor Operator and not by a Recipient Operator.
Recipient Operator will tell you about Time & Date for real porting through SMS.
Porting should take place anytime between 10pm to 5am. Your phone services may not be available for any 2 hours during this time while real porting is taking place. (Be ready for this)
TRAI rules suggest that porting process should be completed within 4 days from the date of application.
After the porting is complete, you should again receive a confirmation (mostly through SMS) from your new operator stating that your number has been ported.
Pre-requisites for MNP
Though everyone is allowed to port their numbers, there are certain criteria that define eligibility of the number to be ported.
- You must have cleared all your bills, disputes with your existing operator. This includes your billed amount. In case your un-billed amount is more than ZERO, you will have to wait until the bill is generated. Talk to your operator to get clarification on this
- There should not be any ownership change request pending on your number to be ported
- Your number should not be under any judicial trial.
- Porting request may get rejected if any pre-requisites are not fulfilled. Talk to your operator for further clarifications.
Documents required for MNP
These are the documents required by your new operator when you apply for porting
- Duly filled CAF form (Customer Agreement Form) with UPC code details.
- Copy of your Address proof
- Copy of your Identity proof (Driving License / PAN Card / Passport etc.)
- Copy of last paid bill of your current service provider (in case you’re a post-paid customer)
You should be paying Rs. 19/- as porting charges along with these documents & application.
Points to Remember for MNP
Read these pointers carefully.
- You can not put a Landline or Fixed Wireless phone numbers. Only mobile numbers can be ported.
- You can port your number only within your existing telephone circle. Shifting from Maharashtra/Goa circle to any other circle like Mumbai, Delhi etc. is not possible.
- You can port your Prepaid number to Postpaid
- You can port your Postpaid number to Prepaid (Provided you have cleared all your dues & your new operator allows this)
- It is possible to shift from CDMA to GSM or GSM to CDMA (You may need a new handset in either case or you must have a compatible handset)
- Porting of prepaid numbers will result in the expiry of their existing talk-time balance once porting is complete.
- You can cancel any porting request by submitting a written document to your Recipient Operator
- You can port your number again only after completing 90 days with your new operator. Which means once every 3 months.
- You can apply for porting only if you have completed 90 days with your existing operator in case of Newly Activated number.
- You must keep a backup of your contacts & messages that are stored on your old SIM card since you will receive a new SIM card from your new operator when you apply for porting.
- You MUST get in touch with your existing & new operators about any doubt you may have on porting, services etc.
- If you apply after expiry of your UPC i.e. 15 days, then you may get a Rejection due to expiry of UPC and you loose your Rs. 19/-. You will have to re-do the process from STEP ONE mentioned above.
- Make sure you apply in time to avoid rejection due to expiry of UPC. This includes the time required to process your application (Should be 2 days max).
- If you’re an employee of a company and number is a part of any Corporate plan, then too you can port your number. All you need to do is, give a written application along with NOC from your corporate authority.
All your Value Added Services (VAS) and Do Not Disturb (DND) requests will be deactivated by default after porting. You will have to apply for them again with your new operator including GPRS, Dialer Tones etc.
How an odd number like Rs. 19/- is calculated as Porting Charge?
There had been many questions raised by Mobile Operators about losses they may face after losing out on existing customers.
But at the same time they could also be the ones to receive new customers due to MNP.
TRAI came up with this: The per port transaction charge has been computed by dividing the total cost to the MNPSP (Mobile Number Porting Service Provider) by the estimated number of porting subscribers, over a 5 years. In so far as the cost is concerned, the Authority has considered the lowest of the cost of the two MNPSPs.
India has about 706.69 million cell phone users as of October 2010 & adding approx. 18.98 million every month.
How many do you think will go for MNP? I am sure the number is going to be much more than 124 million (as shown in the above image)
It is a freedom to choose our mobile operators & we must thank TRAI for their efforts in making this possible.
- If in doubt, talk to the Master! Yes, if you have any doubt talk to your old or new service provider. They are the masters of the trade and can guide you well.
- Take full advantage of MNP if you are not satisfied with your service providers.
- The war has already begun and you’re the one to get the benefits. Check the websites of different operators for details of plan & rules.
- I hope this process takes place smoothly & works great for both, the users and the companies. Take benefits of attractive schemes & plans that are available for specially ported numbers. Read all of them carefully and choose one that suits you the best.
I heard many people were wondering if Mobile Number Portability could cut their mobile bills significantly, which I don’t think is possible much. Read below for details
Will porting help you cut Mobile Bills?
Well, the answer is close to NO. Why? Because, now all Indian mobile operators offer tariffs that are almost similar to each other. The means, even if you put your number – you’re porting to an operator having similar tariff plans. Porting is neither going to affect hugely to Operators nor Consumers in terms of monetary benefits. If 100 users are shifting from one operator then new hundred will get added due to porting.
The advantage you will get is from special offers they offer for first period of 3 months (varies from operator) only to the ported numbers.
Another trick to cut your monthly bills is to port all of your family’s mobile numbers to one operator. That way you can choose a plan that suits your family group & enjoy cheaper calling rates for calls within this group. Which will help you cut bills for calls you make to these numbers.
Many operators are campaigning to tell us that porting will cut our mobile bills. I don’t think this is possible beyond initial offers. I have surely read all the fine prints & you should too.
Update #1: New Telecom Policy
TRAI is about to introduce a new telecom policy through which, it would be possible to port your number to any carrier across the country. This will help many people shifting their locations for taking jobs in other states. TRAI is also proposing no roaming charges across India. Sounds really interesting. Stay tuned for more information.
Please feel free to post your views, questions & comments. I will try my best to help you. Like our Facebook page for latest updates.
Happy Porting 🙂