Frequently Asked Questions about Mobile Number Portability

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>> Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wondering what this is all about? Simple…. you can switch between service providers without having to change your number and you can do this irrespective of the technology that you use. In other words, if you have a CDMA mobile and want to switch to GSM network, you can go ahead.

Of course, everything comes with a cost. But luckily in this case, the cost isn’t much high!! According to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), subscribers should not be charged more than Rs.19/- for changing their service provider. Mobile services will be disrupted for a few hours when the transfer is in process but this is again a minor hiccup.

How is it implemented?
        The MNP server is accessible to all networks and its main functions are to maintain a database record of the ported numbers, and to assist the networks in routing the traffic (voice and text). This is done by maintaining a memory basket, technically called Central Database (CDB).Whenever a number is ported from a network to another; a set of associated information (IMSI, MSISDN, ICC-ID and SIM) is stored in the CDB, which is then accessible to all networks. 

After the implementation of MNP, every network first queries the MNP-Server before establishing a call so that it can know to what number and network the call must be routed.     

Consider the case of a number ported from operator [A] to operator [D]. If a user of operator [B] will call that ported number, the call shall be routed as shown below. Mobile operator [B] will first query the MNP server about the status of the number to be dialled. Since the number is ported, the server shall reply with a divert number. The call will therefore be routed to the recipient network, the Operator [D].
            In case a called number is not ported, the MNP server shall not respond an affirmative nod, and normal call routing shall take place.
Ported OUT number: A number moved out from an operator to other.
Ported IN number: A number moved in to an operator from other.


1)   Who can port?

·         Both prepaid and postpaid users can port. Business/Corporate accounts holders can also port

2)  What do you need to consider carefully before you port?
·         If you have any overdue bills or have existing contracts with your current mobile service provider, the current mobile service provider will reject your port request which is made by the new mobile service provider.
·         For prepaid users, you need to know that all existing credit will expire upon successful porting and not be carried to the new mobile service provider.
·         The timing of the change. Are you planning to travel during the porting process? There may be an impact on international roaming if you travel during the porting process and if a prior understanding is not reached with the current mobile service provider.

3)     How can I port to a new service provider?
·         You will have to go to the new mobile service provider’s Service Centre or Authorized Dealer to request for number porting.
·         Fill in a Service Registration Form and pay the porting fees for processing. You will be issued with a new SIM card.
·         Upon approval, the new mobile service provider will inform you that you have successfully ported when the new SIM card is activated.

4) How long does it take to port to the new provider?
·         The porting process will not take more than 5 business days for individual porting whereas for business porting, it will not take more than 10 business days.

5) How long will it take to port to another operator again?
·         There is a 3 months locking period after you have ported. Once those 3 months are over you can request to port again.

6)  What are the benefits for subscribers?
·         Keep their telephone number no matter who their operator is.
·         Maintain their identity and contacts.
·         Better service bundles with lower prices.
·         Competitive tariff package will be offered by all providers
·         Survival of the most competent and promising providers in the market.

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