Mobile number portability (MNP) has been the talk of the town ever since DoT made it compulsory for telecom operators to roll out nationwide MNP. After DoT extended the deadline, telecom operators have started rolling out full MNP from today. Airtel was the first operator, followed by Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, MTS, Tata Docomo and Aircel. Not just the private operators, but even government-run BSNL has announced the roll out. Here are five things you need to know about mobile number portability as a concept. Also Read - Mobile Number Portability: New MNP rules go live today; here’s everything that has changedAlso Read - Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service will temporarily shut down between November 4 to 10
What is MNP? Also Read - TRAI says new mobile number portability (MNP) fee will be effective from September 30
Mobile number portability lets subscribers keep hold of their phone number, even if they change operators. This whole process of switching to a new service provider is called ‘number port’. For instance if you are using a Airtel and are not completely satisfied with their services, you can switch to another operator, say Vodafone, while retaining your phone number.
Mobile number portability in India
You will be surprised to know that MNP did not start in a city, but has its roots tucked in Haryana where it kicked off on December 25 2010. Other cities received the service more than a year later on January 20 in 2011.
According to TRAI, nearly 157.01 million people have applied for MNP till date. It reached a high in April when nearly 3.17 million applied for the service.
What about nationwide MNP?
It is basically same as normal MNP, but now it is not restricted by state borders. In other words, users will now be able to retain their numbers even when moving to another state. So if you are based out of Mumbai but need to move to another state, you can switch to any other operator of your choice without changing your number.
Who all will benefit from MNP
Mobile number portability and National mobile number portability will prove beneficial for all subscribers. Whether you are fed up with your service provider and want to switch, or are moving to a new state, MNP will be really useful.
The only exceptions are the north eastern parts of India and the province of Jammu and Kashmir, where MNP service is not available due to security reasons.
What is the procedure to apply for an MNP?
To apply for MNP, you need to first contact the service provider you want to switch to. It will provide you with a form to fill called CAF and you’ll also need to send a text from your number. Sending a text message will generate a UPC (Unique Porting Code), which is essentially a code allocated to the subscriber for the purpose of porting of his/her mobile number to another operator. The SMS that needs to be sent should read – “PORT <your Mobile Number> ” and should be sent to 1900.
The process of porting takes seven days and you will be charged a nominal feel of Rs 19. After your number is ported you will be able to access all the services available. But once you have ported your number, you cannot port again for the next 90 days.