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Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

General overview:- MNP is implemented in different ways across the globe. The international and European standard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new provider (Recipient) who will then arrange necessary process with the old provider (Donor). This is also known as ‘Recipient-Led’ porting. The UK is the only country to not implement a Recipient-Led system, where a customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the Donor to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) which he/she then has to give to the Recipient. Once having received the PAC the Recipient continues the port process by contacting the Donor. This form of porting is also known as ‘Donor-Led’ and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient. It has also been observed that it may act as a customer deterrent as well as allowing the Donor an opportunity of ‘winning-back’ the customer. This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.

Steps to switch from one operator to other?

1. To switch operators, Type PORT, leave a space, type your mobile number and text it to 1900.

Example:-  SMS ‘PORT 9881199XXX’ to 1900

Operator SMS charges will be applicable.

2. After sending SMS to 1900, you will receive a reply from 1901 with a unique Porting code and date, giving 8 digit alpha-numeric Unique Porting Code (UPC) and UPC expiry date in MM/DD/YYYY format

3. Visit your nearest new service provider outlet / showroom

4. Fill Mobile Number Porting (MNP) form providing details like Current Mobile Number, Current Operator name, UPC code etc.

5. Submit identity proof, address proof,, self-attested photo and last bill copy of postpaid connection (if applicable) along-with filled Mobile Number Porting (MNP) form and Customer Agreement Form.

6. Buy the new service provider MNP SIM card from new service provider outlet / showroom. SIM charges, talk time value and porting charge are non-refundable in the event of cancellation / rejection of port-in request.

7. Your new service provider will send an SMS on your old/existing operator’s SIM (existing connection) intimating about the porting date and time, i.e. the date and approximate time till when you can continue to use your existing operator’s SIM card.

8. There will be a 2-hour ‘no service period’ which will begin after the porting time as given above. The ‘no service period’ will be between 12 midnight to 5 am during which your mobile service will not be active on any SIM. All efforts will be made to ensure that this ‘no service period’ causes minimum inconvenience to you.

Charge for switching number under MNP Program

You will be charged Rs. 19 for porting number from one service provider to another without changing that i.e. under MNP program.This charge has to be paid to the new service provider.

New SIM Card from New Service Provider

You will get new SIM card from the new service provider. You will have to change the SIM card to the new one after the complete porting of the number from old to new service provider.

Prepaid and Postpaid Users

MNP program is for everyone whether you are using Prepaid and Postpaid service. Prepaid account balance can’t be forwarded to new service provider. That means, your current balance at the time of porting the number will lapse and you can’t carry that to new service provider. Postpaid users will have to clear the pending bills before porting the number.

CDMA and GSM Service Portability

A CDMA number can be ported to GSM service and vice versa. For example, now you can shift from Reliance CDMA to Idea GSM service or vice versa.

Rules and Limitations of MNP Program

Of course there are some rules and regulations and limitations of MNP program. Here are some of the limitations of MNP,

1. Lockin period of  90 days:- You can’t switch the service provider for second time within 90 days of first portability. That means, you will have to use the 2’nd service provider’s service for 90 days and then only you can switch to new service provider i.e. 3’rd one.

2. Circle Limitations – MNP does not work in inter circle portability. That means, you can’t change the circle and have the same number on different service provider. MNP is possible in same circle only.

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