What is Mobile Number Portability, and when is it needed? These, and other questions, are answered in this article.
It’s the old, old story. You buy a certain phone SIM card from a provider who claims that it is the lowest priced one, with the most excellent network. But you are extremely disappointed with the connection, and repeated pleas to the provider to sort out the problem fall on deaf ears. So, the next best thing to do is to port the number to another provider. This is possible through Mobile Number Portability.
What is Mobile Number Portability (MNP)?
MNP is an abbreviation of the term ‘Mobile Number Portability’. It was introduced by the TRAI over a decade ago in India, to help customers demand better services from mobile telcos in the country.
In essence, it helps you switch or port the number to another provider, keeping the number intact but while using the services and plan features offered by the new provider. If you are less than happy with your current service provider, or if you are shifting to another city where your current provider does not offer services, then you should port the number to another provider.
Why do it all?
- You get the freedom to choose another suitable mobile service provider who values your patronage and gives better services, than a provider who does not.
- Porting your number gives you access to a wide range of superb plans and packs that other providers already have. You can take advantage of a better network, lower priced plans, better customer care, 24/7 connectivity, low or negligible downtime, and easy bill payment or recharge processes.
- However, the biggest advantage of porting your number to a better provider is having the power to retain your current number. Since the number remains the same, your contacts and all other SIM-connected data simply switches from one provider to another. There is no need to disconnect the earlier number and lose your contacts and other data.
- Number porting is done at an extremely low cost. The TRAI mandates that the porting process should not cost the customer more than Rs 25. However, you must pay for the new SIM card as charged by the new provider.
How to port to a new provider
Now that you have decided to port to another provider, this is what you can do:
- SMS PORT <Your mobile number> to 1900, which is the central TRAI number for processing all MNP requests. Or you can contact your current provider and ask them to initiate the porting process.
- Keep the ‘porting code’ that you receive from TRAI in the form of the SMS. It is needed by the new provider to port the number.
- Fill out the migration form with your current provider, and mention who you will be porting to. Meanwhile, approach the new provider with your ID proof and residence proof, and initiate the porting from there as well.
- Select the new provider’s postpaid plans and buy the SIM card. However, the SIM card is not activated right away. Wait for your current provider to settle your dues and terminate your connection.
- After this, you can insert the new SIM card and start using the connection. After a basic set up, your connection with the new provider is considered active.