Mobile Number Portability: Guide to changing Telecom operators!


Mobile Number Portability is well and truly here after near unending delays over past couple of years. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal unveiled mobile number portability in Haryana on 25th November. Most of the country will have this facility by the New Year, while it will be available throughout the country by March 2011. But there are several things about MNP that are not known to the public. Let us take a look at what it is all about.

Mobile Number POrtability

What is MNP all about?

MNP is the facility that lets a mobile phone subscriber retain his/her original mobile number even after moving from one service provider to another. To use MNP facility, the subscriber will have to pay a non-refundable fixed charge of Rs.19. Well Rs. 19 is nothing to get rid of single bar signals and call drops!! Moreover you don’t need to give out a new number to anyone, because it still remains the same!

After shifting to a new provider you need to stick with them for a minimum lock-in period of 90 days before shifting to another provider.

It sounds fair enough but can be a nightmare for you if your new operator is even worse than the previous one. So, one thing you must ensure – Before moving your service providers, check all facets and pricing of services offered.

6 Simple steps to change your existing Telecom Provider!

  1. Send an SMS to 1900 in following format: PORT – eg. PORT 9822123456.
  2. You will get an SMS reply that contains a unique porting code.
  3. SMS to the preferred operator quoting the unique code. This code is valid only for a few days, and one must apply again if it expires.
  4. Your existing operator will check with new operator & if there are no dues then approval will be given for porting.
  5. You will get an SMS on the time and date when porting will take place. Rules mandate that process be completed within 4 days of applying.
  6. After porting is complete, wait for an SMS from your new operator confirming the switch. Your phone may be dead for about 2 hours when the porting takes place.

Exciting offers galore:

  • Tata Docomo has launched a section on Mobile Number Portability. The offers include free talk-time and Free 3G services usage.
  • BSNL has offered free talk time of Rs. 100, and free unlimited GPRS for a month.
  • Idea also has many attractive offers as well. (Abhishek Bacchan is busy explaining that on TV)

Here is an interesting question to you – To every person I have spoken to , everybody is going to go for MNP. What about you…how many of you re going to switch providers ? Let us know..

  1. Aditya says

    Dear sir
    Can you plz provide me formal letter format to submit for new mobile network operator to change all of our company postpaid mobile numbers

  2. VAIBHAV says

    Hey I am not getting step 3.I got the unique code but at which number should I sms this code?

  3. prateek says

    i just convert my Vodafone prepaid to postpaid. But they disconnect my outgoing because of the address proof. I called customer care many time to send an executive for address proof but they didn’t , and never solve my problem. Now i cant send any message to any1, not even to 1900.
    can you tell me how can i switch my operator?
    any alternative to switch to another operator?

  4. Ashish Patel says


  5. Ravi says

    Hi frnds……is there anybody tell me abt the mtnl portability customer care number……..!

  6. ghanshyam` says


    My no 9718011008 has not been port out from Idea 2 MTNL till now(31 jan 2011 …..til date)
    contact no. 9650596688

  7. Siddhant Wadhwa says

    well currently am having an idea connection and i face problems with its connectivity so shud i go for vodafone or shud i stick to idea only?

  8. Som says

    what about the existing call rates/ tariff ??
    it will be same after porting?

  9. hambeer singh says

    my no 9711030380 has not been port out vodaphone 2 idea till now (after 20 days)
    pls help me.

  10. Amit Kumar says


    My no 9255666000 has not been port out from Tata 2 Idea till now(after 15 days)
    contact no. 9050045500

  11. abhinit says

    when this service will start in delhi. changing users

  12. Amit Kumar says

    Dear Sir
    I made a request for portabilty for my no 9255666000 on 29/11/10 From Tata Indicom to Idea but till now my no. has not been migrated . Contact no. 9250045500

  13. Varun Bansal says

    According to the news you can change from CDMA to GSM and vice versa.
    But thinking logically, if u change frm CDMA to GSM you need a change of handset too ! these 2 are different technologies. and u cant have the same handset wrking on it.
    And it wont take 7 days. Its just a matter of 2 hrs ( in usa it takes mins..lets see whn this happns in INDIA) ur phone will be dead during those 2 hrs…u cant make calls..

    1. Arpit Sahu says

      I am totaly agree with you, but my concern is is the number portable from TATA CDMA to Reliance GSM. And Tata Docomo says 7 days after u putforth your request. My question is we shouldnot have any balance amount for making a request, so if i ll make calls whom should i pay for these calls.

  14. Arpit says


    Do we have the provision of changing service & the service provider.
    like Reliance CDMA to TATA Docomo GSM ???

    And for these 7 days of porting, which operator will be responsible for my billing.
    Can i make or receive calls in these 7 days???

  15. Ravi Gokulgandhi says

    I will probably move from Vodafone to Idea in Delhi. Irrespective of their customer service and brand image, the coverage, call quality and web connectivity is any dat better than vodafone and airtel. Plus you dont get treated like dirt when you visit their showroom….. Chaging logo (airtel swirl) and slogan (vodafone happy to help) are completely contrast to their attitude towards their customers.

    1. shakil ahmad says

      Please dont make the mistake of switching to Idea. There is no connectivity most of the time and customer service is horrible. I have been victim of get idea.

  16. Varun Bansal says

    @anubhav- as per the current decision portability is not allowed from one circle to another …
    lets see if it is available whn MNP is available throughout India…
    right now u can only change provider withing the same circle.

  17. anubhav says

    what happens when a person moves from one circle to another? say from delhi to chennai… will the number still remain the same?

  18. Varun Bansal says

    Good for you that you have Tata Docomo at your place. We Delhi-walas are eagerly waiting for it (Its been a long time DOCOMO ! pls pls launch ur services here)

    Even i have an Aitel and face similar problems ,the jokes they activate themselves dont make me laugh at all ,instead burn a hole in my pocket :(

    @ronale fletcher-
    Thanks ,I missed out on some of them.

  19. ronale fletcher says

    some of the terms of switching operators as defined for Haryana and in all likelihood for other cities, are:

    * User will have to obtain a unique porting number by sending a SMS.
    * The code along with filled forms and valid identity proof documents need to be submitted to the new operator.
    * Rs 19 is the switching fee.
    * A user can switch after 90 days of a new connection being activated.
    * Postpaid users need to clear all dues before applying to switch.
    * Prepaid users lose any remaining talk time after switching.
    * MNP request can be cancelled within 24 hours and a new request should be processed within 7 days.

  20. Gurdial says

    I will be dumping Airtel (Pre-paid) for sure. They have become too big to care about individual customers. Main problems I face with them are:
    1. Still have Rs 1/ min call- one has to activate some pack or the other to reduce call rate or get pre second billing (that too for only 1 yr)

    2. Every couple of months some paid service like jokes, quote etc is activated without any reason- then one has to call the CC and get it stopped.

    3. I todays market these guys actually charge for the calls to CC. Even their CC reps come off as rather cold and rude.

    Tatadocomo would be my choice- every happy with them on my other number.

  21. dpi says

    Everybody post the same steps for porting mobile no. But important point is what about our existing sim card?
    In the Tata Docomo MNP page, FAQ section clearly shows that
    – we need to fill an application with new 8 digit UPC Porting Code
    – Get the new sim card
    – Docomo send an SMS when porting will takes place (mostly in 10pm to 5am)
    – After that time insert new sim and start using.
    So we have to apply and get the new sim card from the operator.

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