The new guidelines issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) go into force now. The attempt is to make it easier to port your mobile connection from one mobile service provider, to another. The biggest change surely must be that according to the new rules, a number must be ported completely within 3-5 working days, as against almost 15 days that was common earlier. If you are porting to another operator within the same circle, TRAI says it should ideally be done in 3 working days. If you are porting to another operator in another telecom circle, that should take about 5 days. The new rules will surely make it easier for users to switch between Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, for instance.
To port your mobile number, you will need to send a request SMS with the word ‘PORT’ followed by a space and your ten-digit mobile number which is to be ported, to 1900. Once this is done, a Unique Porting Code (UPC) will be generated, which will be received through SMS on the same phone the porting request message has been sent from.
With the port code now with you, this is the time to get in touch with the mobile service provider you want to shift to, and fill out the necessary Customer Acquisition Form (CAF), Porting Form, mention the UPC and also complete the necessary Know Your Customer (KYC) process. At this point, the new service provider you are signing up with will provide you with a new SIM card. You will also receive a confirmation that the porting request process is now active
You will pay Rs 6.46 as the porting fees, every time you wish to port your mobile number to another network.
But you must remember that if you are using a postpaid mobile connection, you will need to clear the bill, in other words the outstanding dues, before this process can be completed. “In the case of Post-Paid mobile connection, the subscriber has cleared 'Outstanding dues' towards the existing telecom service provider for the issued bill(s) as per normal billing cycle,” say the TRAI guidelines.
What if you change your mind and decide against porting your number to another service provider? You need to SMS the word ‘CANCEL’ followed by a space and the ten-digit mobile number that was being ported to 1900. You must note that this SMS requesting for the cancellation of the MNP request should be sent within twenty-four hours of submitting the porting request.
What are the cases in which you cannot port your number to another service provider? First, any postpaid users who have not cleared their bill and outstanding amount will not be able to port, till these dues are cleared. Secondly, if you have been using the existing mobile service provider’s network for less than 90 days, you need to wait to cross the 90 day mark before you can put in a valid MNP request again. You must also ensure that there is no request pending for change of ownership of the number that is to be ported—else wait for that to complete. If your existing mobile service provider has offered services to you as part of a contract (for instance, a minimum billing period, for instance), you will need to complete that contract before you can port the number.
Also, for successful MNP, the number in question must not be sub-judice or prohibited by the court of law against any status change.