Mobile number portability (MNP) has long been awaited in India. Its implementation was postponed several times due to technical and bureaucratic glitches.
The service was originally scheduled for launch in December 2009, but the launch date was postponed to March 31 this year. Then it was again postponed to June 30, and thereafter to October 30.
The government clarified that it had taken the decision to delay MNP to October after evaluating whether access providers and long distance service providers were ready to implement the service, and in consideration of the complexity and enormity of testing involved before MNP is implemented.
MNP makes it possible for people to switch operators while maintaining their mobile number. For fear of losing their number, people often continued subscribing to a certain operator’s services despite being dissatisfied with service.
The delay was caused by a variety of factors including policies and stakeholder preparation. Finally, though, MNP will now be available in Haryana starting today.
The countrywide launch of MNP will start from Rohtak district in Haryana. The service will be implemented across the country in a phased manner.
A subscriber who wants his mobile number ported (change service provider) will have to send an SMS to 1900 to obtain a ‘unique porting code’. After getting the porting code, he will have to submit a duly filled porting form along with a customer acquisition form and a proof of identity to the service provider he wishes to shift. There will be a porting charge of Rs 19.
Upon completing the formalities, the customer will get the new operator’s SIM card, and the new operator will inform him of when he can start using it, which should be within seven working days.
The subscriber can then start using his new SIM at the specified time.
A mobile number porting request can be withdrawn within 24 hours of having been made.
For now, mobile number portability is limited to the Haryana circle.
Also, subscribers can switch their service provider only after 90 days either from the day when their existing number was activated, or from the time when they last ported their mobile number.
Before porting, all dues will have to be cleared if it is a post paid number. If it is a pre paid connection, any talk time that remains in it will lapse.