The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come out with new rules for mobile number portability (MNP) for changing your telecom operator while retaining the same number. An individual subscriber would be able to switch to a new operator within three working days in the same circle (licence service area) and in five working days in another circle.
(My personal observation is that subscribers can keep changing operators but all provide similar, unsatisfactory service!. There is no perfect or ideal mobile operator in India. Thus, in the end, by porting, you can just have the satisfaction of venting your anger, nothing else.)
TRAI has also reduced the validity to four days for unique porting request (UPC) from 15 days earlier, except for Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the North East, where it will remain valid for 30 days. For porting a mobile number, the subscriber will have to pay Rs6.43 as transaction charges.
However, there are certain points that the user needs to keep in mind before porting her mobile number to a new operator.
You can port a number that has been active on a network for 90 days. This means, you can change mobile operator, if needed, only after staying on the network for three months.
Also, if you are using a post-paid or billed number, you need to clear all current dues. For pre-paid subscribers, the available balance cannot be transferred to new operator and it needs to be utilised (or keep minimum balance) before porting.
There also are some eligibility criteria for obtaining UPC code and going for MNP. These include:
a) Post-paid mobile subscriber has cleared ‘outstanding dues’ towards the existing telecom service-provider for the issued bill(s) as per normal billing cycle.
b) Activation in the present operator’s network is not less than 90 days.
c) Request for change of ownership of mobile number is not in process.
d) There are no pending contractual obligation(s) to be fulfilled by the subscriber as per the exit clause provided in the subscriber agreement.
e) The porting of the mobile number is not prohibited by the court of law.
f) The mobile number sought to be ported is not sub judice.
In case of rejection of UPC request, the user would receive an SMS giving the reason for rejection. However, as per the new rules, under normal circumstances, a porting request submitted by the subscriber to the recipient operator, within validity period of UPC, will not be rejected.
However, for corporate mobile numbers, the porting request may be rejected by the existing operator, if the porting request is not accompanied by a valid authorisation letter issued by the corporate entity.
How To Port Your Number through MNP
1) You need to generate a UPC first. Send an SMS with the word ‘PORT’ (you can use ‘port’ or ‘Port’ as well) followed by a space and the 10-digit mobile number which is to be ported, to 1900. The UPC will be received through SMS on the mobile of the subscriber.
The SMS, for example, should be…
PORT 9999999999 (the number is used only for reference; you should use your own number here). Send this SMS to 1900.
2) You would receive a confirmation SMS and UPC from 1901. This message will give you the UPC and its validity period, before which you need to contact a new operator and complete the porting process.
3) Visit the nearest customer service centre or gallery of the telecom operator with whom you want to port your mobile number. Fill the customer acquisition form (CAF) and porting form of the operator and mention the valid UPC.
After submission of the necessary payment and requisite KYC document(s), the executive there will give you a new SIM card. On your existing network, you will receive a message confirming submission of porting request along with withdrawal window available, during which you can withdraw or cancel the porting request.
4) Porting to another operator within the same circle will be executed within three working days and, if porting is for another circle (licence service area), it will be executed within five days. There is no change in the porting timelines for the corporate mobile connections.
In case of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the North East service areas, porting takes place in 15 days.
5) You will receive an SMS indicating the date and time for porting. The service disruption (when there would be no network available on your mobile) time wil be around four hours during night time of the date of porting.
6) After this, insert in your mobile handset, the SIM card provided by new operator. You will receive messages from the new operator on activating certain services and some settings for Internet (now-a-days, most mobile handsets use automatic settings, so you can ignore these messages).