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Mobile Number Portability Kicks Off In India

MNP-Mobile-Number-Portability-India How many times have you cursed your mobile operator for poor service? Did you wish you could say bye-bye to poor network and switch to a better one?

Well I did. During my college years I changed my number thrice because of poor network. But this was a big inconvenience as I had to inform everyone about the change. So I finally stuck to the last operator, even though I was unhappy with their service.

But that was a thing of past. If you are facing similar issues, you no longer have to compromise with the service- thanks to Mobile Number Portability that got introduced today (25th Nov. 2010) in India.

What is Mobile Number Portability (MNP)?

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is a service that allows mobile users to change their service provider while retaining the number. Thus if you are a customer of operator X and want to move to operator Y, you can do so without losing your original mobile number.

The service is operational in many countries worldwide. UK, Netherlands, Hong Kong implemented it as early as 1999. India’s neighbor Pakistan also implemented MNP in 2007.

Circles where the service has been launched

Starting 25th November 2010, MNP service will be available in Haryana circle. MNP service in rest of the country will be implemented in a phased manner after its launch in Haryana and is expected to be available nation wide by early next year (2011).

Better Late Than Never!!

Implementation of MNP has been delayed many times before due to various reasons.

According to the original plans it was to be implemented by 31st December 2009 in all the Metro cities. The deadline was later changed to March 31, 2010 and then to June 30 2010. But since the operators were not ready with the infrastructure to implement MNP, the deadline was shifted to September 1st only to be extended till October 31st 2010 (because of the launch of 3G service in India).

Reminds me of the dialogue “tarikh pe tarikh..” Tongue out

Procedure For MNP

The procedure to be followed is quite simple:

1) SMS PORT <your 10 digit mobile number> to 1900.

2) You’ll receive a unique alphanumeric porting id from your present operator. This id will be valid for a few days.

3) Using this unique id you’ll have to fill a form provided by the operator you want to switch to.

4) Within 48 hours your new operator will take over all your mobile services.

Salient Features

1) As you can observe, in order to change your service provider, you’ll have to contact your current service provider to initiate the process. This is known as “Donor-Led Porting”. The other type of porting is known as “Recipient-Led Porting” and this is what is followed by most of the countries world-wide. Countries like U.K. and now India have opted for Donor-Led Porting. This will allow the “donor” to win back the customer. Some may not welcome this as operators may tend to get pushy.

Update: Though MNP has not been introduced in my circle, I still sent out a message to 1900. I got the unique porting id. Within an hour I got a call from my service provider informing me that the service has not yet been launched in my circle, and- now here comes the interesting part– why did I want to switch to other operator? Was I unhappy with their service? Can they do anything to change my decision?
Did someone say Customer is King! smile_wink

2) You’ll be charged a fee of approx. 19/- to transfer your number.

3) If you are a post-paid customer you’ll have to clear all your dues before you can get your number transferred to another operator.

4) If you are a pre-paid customer, your current account balance will be forfeited.

5) After transferring your number you can’t change the operator again for at least 50 days. This will ensure the misuse of this service; otherwise customer may constantly switch their operator just to get benefit of some special offer.

6) You can switch your operator only within your circle. So if you are moving from one state to another and want to retain your number, you cannot do so through MNP.

7) You can switch from GSM to CDMA and vice-versa.

8) Your number will get disconnected for a maximum period of two hours- to allow the operators to disconnect and reactivate your number.

This was a long awaited step and though the process appears smooth on paper, it’ll be interesting to see how it actually turns out to be. Meanwhile check out “Switch To Idea” campaign from Idea to woo customers through MNP.

This is the fourth major development this year in India. Other three being change in the way interest is calculated in saving bank account, introduction of new symbol for Indian currency and the recent launch of 3G services.

Do you think MNP can result in a price war among operators, since everyone will want to retain their customers? One thing is for sure- customer will be the king now Open-mouthed. What say?

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29 Responses to Mobile Number Portability Kicks Off In India

  1. TechFk November 25, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Why only in Harayana??

  2. Abhishek November 26, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    India.. adding feather in a cap……. all major Indian news channels are highlighting the same news,since yesterday, Finally MNP got roll out ……….. certainly the telecom providers will shift their focus towards existing customers rather than strategizing for new ones….. "The one who will serve the consumers best, get the business"

    As a customer, now each one of us would have an opportunity to switch over to any service providers according to our requirements and the best part is "without changing our current Phone number" wow…………

    I forsee telecom companies investing hugely in customer service and infrastructure upgradation activities.

    Airtel Vs Vodafone Vs Reliance Vs BSNL Vs TATA DOCOMO Vs Aircell Vs Uninor …..

    Various options & lots of competition

    Thanks for the nice post Anshul.. Keep up the good work.

    Abhishek Porwal

  3. Financial Technology November 26, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    I'm using Aricel network… How i can check my SMS port number in My mobile Nokia 6233… I'm very interesting to get this service… plz help
    Thanks for reply in advance

  4. Anshul November 26, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    You just have to send an sms to 1900 in this format:
    PORT<space><your 10 digit mobile number>

    for e.g. if your mobile number is 9999988888, send this sms to 1900
    PORT 9999988888

    However MNP has currently been launched only in Haryana circle. So if you are in some other part of the country, you'll have to wait for some time.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  5. Anshul November 26, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Thanks for sharing your views Abhishek. This indeed is a feather in the cap. But considering the huge mobile market in India, I think this move from the government should have come earlier.

    It has been a common scenario that once you get a connection, the service provider no longer treats you as an asset. This move is going to change the attitude of operators and they will focus more on providing vaue to existing customers.

  6. Anna November 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Customers should be always the king. At present if you want to survive you have to be customer-oriented. In general, the idea of MNP is very appealing and I think soon it will leave the boarders of Haryana.

  7. Archit November 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Hurrey!!! MNP will be started from 20 Jan 2011 must say here it was planned to be launched in April 2007 !! Same case of 3G..

  8. Anshul November 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Maybe they want to be sure that the infrastructure is ready to handle MNP.

  9. Anshul November 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Yes Anna I agree. Wit so much of competition these days, no doubt customer is the king !!
    Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you here more often 🙂

  10. Anshul November 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    That indeed is a good news. Let's keep our finger crossed though 😉

  11. Nandan Narula November 27, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Finally its in and the telecom majors now have a new battle ground . . . . Thanks Anshul for the step by step procedure highlighted by you. Hope to see the MNP service in my circle soon

  12. archit November 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    A little correction- MNP will be applied to all the circles by dead line of 20 Jan 2011.

  13. Anshul November 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Thx for updating 🙂 When I wrote this article, there was no date mentioned by the officials, but later I also read about this deadline.

  14. Anshul November 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Thx Nandan 🙂 You may expect free goodies thrown in your way to woo you, once MNP reaches your circle 🙂

  15. Anna November 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I will!

  16. archit November 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Hey Anshul, must say it is a very informative blog !!!
    Great work man !! keep goin…..

  17. Anshul November 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Thanks for appreciation Archit :). Hope to meet your expectations in future too !!

  18. arkitekt hamar December 1, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    great news for the people struggeling with this issues, this gives people a new opportunity in the mobile world..

  19. shanker Bakshi December 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    ….and people were waiting for this from ages…..at last it comes to reality…..good move.

  20. Gulbarga News December 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    now people may not change their no. every time… its good…

  21. huzaifa darbar December 6, 2010 at 6:20 am #


    thnx anshul, nice share.

  22. Nalin December 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    How does MNP works in case of post paid connection? Is it possible incase of post paid connection?

  23. Anshul December 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    It sure does !! I am going to change my service provider as soon as the service is started in my circle.

  24. Anshul December 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    All is well that ends well !! 😉

  25. Anshul December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    This was one reason why people were forced to carry on with bad service. This will bring an end to that.

  26. Anshul December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Thanks Huzaifa 🙂 Nice to see you here

  27. Anshul December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Ya MNP is applicable to both post paid and prepaid customers. You'll have to clear all your dues before you can change the operator. You can even move from postpaid to prepaid.

  28. Suraj December 10, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Good, let me know when its launched all over India!

  29. sree January 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Good to see the competition between telecom companies and let us see who will retain their customers after MNP.

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