Pan-India mobile number portability starts on 20 January. If you are not satisfied with your present service provider but do not want to change your number, there's a solution to the problem. Here's a quick guide on what it's about and how it'll work.
IT What is it
It is a facility that allows you to retain your mobile number even when you leave your service provider and move to a new one. So you can change your provider without changing your number- your mobile number will get ported to the new provider. In fact, mobile number portability can be done even if you keep the same technology-GSM to GSM connection-or change it -CDMA to GSM connection and vice versa. It will take seven days to complete the entire porting process. You can avail this facility at just '19, which will be collected by the new service provider.
How it works
It's a simple step-by step process. First, you need to send an SMS as PORT<space>your mobile number to 1900 from your mobile. In return, you get an eightdigit alphanumeric code and an expiry date for that code. This code is called unique porting code, or UPC. The second step is to go to the nearest service centre of the new service provider with this code along with required documents such as address proof, identity proof, photograph and the like and the application form, mentioning the UPC and your mobile number. Remember to do this within the expiry date which came with the UPC SMS. After this the operator will come into action and take your request to the mobile portability clearing house. Then the clearing house will take necessary steps to get your number deactivated from the original provider and activated to the new one. Once this happens, you will get an SMS from the new service provider stating the date and time when your mobile phone will experience a no-service period. This is when the actual switching of service providers happens and you can't use your phone for a couple of hours. But these "no-service hours" will be between 12pm and 5am, so it's unlikely to cause you any inconvenience.
What can be ported
You can use it for any post-paid as well as prepaid number. In case of a post-paid number, there shouldn't be any dues. For a prepaid number, carry forward of any balance to the new service provider is not permitted. It will also be available on SIM cards used as Internet data cards. When you port your number, you also need to change your SIM. Apart from retaining the same number, the process is same as acquiring a new connection.