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Mobile Number Portability (MNP) - Guide

|July 5 2010 |Guide, Articles

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is an initiative to allow Mobile phone users to retain their mobile number when they switch from one Mobile Operator to other irresepective of mobile technology or from one technology to another within same operator. For example, if you have a mobile number 9810655555 (which belongs to Airtel GSM in Haryana), you can shift your number to Vodafone (GSM) or to Tata Indicom (CDMA) within Haryana circle. You might be wondering, why would a subscribe want to shift the operator. Well, there can be many reasons, the main reasons being bad service quality, poor customer support, unreasonable pricing and billing. In such cases, the subscriber who has a lucky mobile number or a long-standing mobile number (which is widely circulated among his relations/contacts) would like to retain the mobile number while seeking better operator service. In the absence of MNP, the above action is not possible.

MNP makes sense in those markets where high competition and penetration exists. MNP is consumer-friendly initiative that aims to bring high level of customer service, competitive pricing and quality. MNP is also operator-friendly as it gives a level ground to compete for customers through innovative products, competitive pricing and high quality services.

MNP allows portability within a cirlce. The portability across cirlces (Inter-circle Portability) is not allowed yet and no details on that is available yet.

Some Stats/Information
- India is the 8th nation in Asia to launch MNP.
- Around 60 countries have already adopted MNP.
- There are two types of porting 'Recipient-led porting' and 'Donor-led porting'. In case of former, the responsibility of recipient operator to complete all process and formalities. While in case of latter, the responsibility lies with donor network. The Donor-led porting has proved to be very inefficient. India is following the 'Recipient-led porting' model.
- Central Database of Numbers (CDB) will hold list of all ported numbers. Network operators hold local copies of this CDB and will look up this to decide which network to divert to. This process is called All Call Query (ACQ) and has successfully been tried in Europe and upcoming countries.

Salient Points
- MNP will be rolled out in phases, starting with metro and gradually to other cities in India.
[ Subscriber wishing to switch from one operator to another should be active in the parent network for atleast a period of 90 days!
- If a number is already ported, the subscriber has to wait for another 90 days before he can switch operator.
- The subscriber willing to port should approach the recipient operator (i.e. the operator that the customer wants to SWITCH TO).
- The subscriber has to pay a Porting charge of Rs.19/- only.
- Telecom Operators charge a porting fees from subscribers willing to switch operator.
- The subscriber making the porting request is required to clear all the dues prior to porting request. The subscriber should also provide an undertaking that he/she has already paid all the dues to the donor operator and that he/she will pay any dues that might accrue till the porting is complete. In case of non-payment, the recipient operator has full rights to disconnect the mobile connection.
- If a subscriber decides to cancel his switching request, he/she can do so within 24 hours of initial request. However, the porting charges that may have been deducted would not be refundable.
- TRAI Guidelines clearly says that the maximum time period for completing the switching process is 4 days in all licensed areas except Assam, North east and J&K (where the time period is 12 days)
- Once the shifting is done, the donor operator is responsible and required to route the call to the recipient network.


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