Mobile Number Portability…..Things to Know

So after a long wait, and a few posts on this blog, Mobile Number Portability(MNP) is finally a reality in India. If you remember, it was somewhere in 2009 that the government had considered this option. Why it took so long, is anyone’s guess. With the consortium of the biggies against it, the government had to think twice. But at last, the wishes of the consumer prevailed.

But now that it is here, should we jump the wagon and changeover? There are few points to ponder upon. First of all, why did you ever think about this option anyway? Is it just because it is the "happening” thing at this time? You might be in for a surprise after you switch over. Just before switching over, consider the following

Is your current provider’s network good enough, and gives you a good coverage throughout the day and where-ever you go?

As the saying goes, the grass is always green on the other side. Consider the facts. When was the last time that you cried and cursed the operator due to poor network? How often do you experience call drop? How is the quality of the voice communication? Do you get any echo during conversation, and is it a frequent occurrence? Finally, have you checked with your friend, who has the connection of the operator where you want to port, about the quality of the service. If you are satisfied with your operator, disqualify this reason for porting.

Are you changing over due to the high charges by the current operator?

Check out the current operator’s website for the different plans available and compare them with the plan you have active on your number. Have you activated some value added service which you really don’t use. Deactivating it can reduce your bills by huge amount. Also changing your current plan may help a lot. If you search patiently, you will find some grass green enough on your side. Also let me inform that on an average basis, most of the operators have almost similar tariff plans available. So if you getting a really good deal after porting, go for MNP. Else strike off this reason.

What about the customer support?

Well my dear friend, I can claim that all the providers have the same customer support. And it’s pathetic. The customer care executives are not the employees of the particular provider. The support process is outsourced to various BPO centers, and the companies selected for Indian support are below world standards. Indians are always taken for granted, and this field is no exception. The trick in getting support, is knowing how to talk to them. Make them feel that you know how the entire process works, and are aware of the system, since you yourself worked in a BPO(they are not going to verify it. And a little lie which does no harm to them, but does you some good, is always acceptable.) If your work is not being done, put a demand to be attended to by a senior in charge. Most of the times, a bit  bold talk can help you.(P.S. : If you are a boy and it’s a girl on the other end at a call center, or vice versa, be bold. Don’t be to much courteous, timid or terrified. They are doing their job, and you are trying to get what’s rightfully yours).

That was bit too long. But if you ask me, I will give some detailed lessons on handling the customer care “executives”.

So, if customer care is the reason for porting, no need. The grass is all dried up on the other side as well.

Are you doing it because of some value added service provided by the other operator?

Do you use internet on the mobile and is the speed good enough? Do you use caller tunes? Would you like to get astrology updates, cricket updates etc.? I am sure that your current operator provides those services too. But if you ask me, except for GPRS, everything else is a waste of money. Activate GPRS and you will get everything online. Why waste extra money on it.

What about you current balance?

Mind you. If you have a huge balance in your prepaid account, it will be wiped clean. Your balance is not ported to new provider. So if you have finally decided to port, do so after bringing down you balance to minimum, or even better, zero.

How many jumps can you make?

Once you have jumped over to the other operator, you will have to be loyal to them for at least 50 days. Consider that too.


The telecom operators are not at all bothered about MNP now, since a trial launch at Haryana has revealed that almost equal number of customers leave and join a provider, so the change is negligible. Hence it is not a brainwork to deduce that the overall equation for the operators doesn’t change and they won’t be “motivated” to provide better service.

So after considering all the points, you decide that you still need to port to some other provider. Then the process is quite simple. It is universal process, and can be used while porting from any network to any network.

  • From your mobile send an SMS with the following text : PORT<space><your 10 digit mobile number which you want to port> to 1900.
  • Within few seconds you will receive an SMS from 1901, which will have a Unique Porting ID, and the expiry date for that ID.
  • Now go to the outlet of the operator of your choice and get a new SIM. While filling the form, mention the unique ID  on the form as directed by the personnel at the center and also provide your identity documents which are mandatory.
  • Pay the necessary charge for porting, which is a maximum of 19 rupees and even no charge for MTNL.
  • Your mobile number will be ported to new SIM within seven working days. Use the new SIM from then on.

I personally am switching over because, I am unhappy about the quality of the network during the past 4 years that I have used it. Also my entire family is on other network and I checked their quality, which is quite good. I will even get better plans to call within my family. But I have to wait for some time to exhaust my current balance.


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