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Mobile Number Portability Process in India

Update (20-Jan): From 20-Jan, Mobile Number Portability (or MNP) is offered all over India. Refer here for the official announcement (press release from TRAI).

Porting Code

First you have to send a SMS to 1900. The format would be “PORT 9876543210″. You will receive a confirmations SMS back with the 8 digit porting code.

Dear Customer , Your Unique Porting Code is TT123456 which is valid upto dd-mm-yyyy. Thank you.

The porting code will be valid for 15 days from the day it is generated for your request. For all service areas except Jammu &
Kashmir, Assam and North East licensed areas where the validity for the Unique Porting Code allocated to a subscriber shall be valid for a period of thirty days. In another government order, the maximum days for porting process is said to be 7 (seven) and for Jammu and North East 15 days. It is left to see what is correct.

The eight digit Porting code is unique. The first alphabet would represent the present service provider (the donor otherwise). The second alphabet is the state (or circle) the number belongs to. In our case TT would mean Tata-teleservices Tamilnadu Circle. The customer can make any number of such requests, and all of them shall be responded appropriately.

Service Provider


Aircel Ltd


Aircel Cellular Ltd

Dishnet Wireless Ltd

Bharti Airtel Ltd


Bharti Hexacom Ltd

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd


Loop Telecom Ltd


Datacom Solutions Ltd


HFCL Infotel Ltd


Idea Cellular Ltd


Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd


Reliance Communications Ltd


Reliance Telecom Ltd


S. Tel Ltd


Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd


Spice Communications Ltd


Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt. Ltd.



Tata Teleservices Ltd


Tata Teleservices (Mah) Ltd

Unitech Group of Companies


Vodafone Group of Companies


Region Code (Telecom Circle code):

Andhra Pradesh












Himachal Pradesh


Jammu & Kashmir








Madhya Pradesh






North East








Tamilnadu including Chennai






West Bengal


Contact Service Provider

Now you need to contact the service provider you wish to move in with the unique porting code. It would take couple of working days to complete the porting.

Remember you need to pay your postpaid mobile bill. In case of prepaid, if there is any amount left, the amount will not be carried forward.

You might already know that Mobile Number Portability is set to be rolled into India this year end. As some one who has worked for a telecom company all this year, I feel morally obliged to explain the common public how the Number Portability process works else where and in India. Oh yeah! you caught me, I just found one more reason to blog. 🙂

Number Portability

Imagine a situation, you bought a new mobile phone connection. Even though you have paid all fees for it, as of now (December 2009), the number you use, pay for doesn’t belong to you. It rather belongs to the service provider. This is evident, as just by looking into the number one can say whether it is a Airtel, Aircel, Tata or Reliance number. Numbers belong to service providers and not to you. When you felt that the current service provider is not giving you good services and want to move to some one else, you have to loose the number. There is a catch all though, normally you need to wait for some period before moving into other service provider. This period is known as lock-in period. The period normally will be three months. This however depends on the agreement you sign at the time of getting the connection.

The TRAI regulation defines Mobile Number Portability as

“Mobile Number Portability” means the facility which allows a subscriber to retain his mobile telephone number when he moves from one Access Provider to another irrespective of the mobile technology or from one cellular mobile technology to another of the same Access Provider;

Meaning CDMA mobile customer can also avail for Mobile Number Portability. The metro cities to have number portability by Dec 31, 2009. The rest of the country will be brought under Mobile Number Portability by March 20, 2010.

Local and Mobile Number Portability

There are two types of portability. Mobile Number Portability – MNP and Local Number Portability – LNP. More often LNP is used to refer portability on local fixed lines. In few places LNP includes MNP too. In India it is not clear whether LNP includes MNP. But as it goes now, the rollout will be for Mobile Number Portability, and LNP has to wait for some more time.

Mobile Number Portability Process

The process works as follows –

  • A customer who has a mobile number connection active for three months (90 days) with Service Provider SP-A, wants to use new service from Service provider SP-B. She wants to retain her current mobile number.
  • She goes to the SP-B. Fills up forms, giving him enough details. Decides on date when to move into the new service.
  • SP-B goes to the central agency. Either with one request or with bulk of them. Queries for the details. This process is known as “Dipping”. The customer can be charged for this. The dipping charge may not be more than Rs 19 per request per customer. This is because the service providers need to setup infrastructure, and incur some expenses for portability.
  • The central agency checks with the SP-A. This could include verifying whether the customer has paid all dues any completed pending commitments. The SP-A can also choose to check with customer to verify the authenticity of the request. However SP-A upon getting the instructions from Central agency need to finish the portability in one hour.
  • In case, the customer wants to cancel the request, she can do it within 24 hours from applying. In that case, she can’t reclaim the dipping charge.
  • Once into the new SP-B, the customer cann’t move out and retain the number at the same time for the next three months.
  • The entire process may take more than 2 days to a maximum of 4 days.


Customer Benefits

Customers have wide range of services. Mobile Number Portability means cut throat competition. Customer has never need to worry off losing the number.

However the following things need to be noted.

  • Post paid customers need to sign an undertaking stating that she will pay all dues during the period of last bill and till the service is moved to the new service provider.
  • Customers will be the kings once again. Service providers need to offer innovative products to retain existing customers and gain new customers.
  • Pre paid customers will loose all their un-used talk time.
  • If you have availed the facility in less than 90 days, you need to wait for 90 days to complete. If a request is already pending, then further requests are rejected.
  • If the customer has purchased the handset also from the service provider, then she may need to pay the entire dues. This may include paying extra money for the handset if it was bought at a concessional cost.

Number Portability Challenges

As of now, the following things are not mentioned in the regulation. So, by all means, we can conclude these will not be supported either.

  • If the customer has extra services, like  caller tune, GPRS, voice mail and others alike, then these services will be lost and need to be setup fresh again.
  • What for fixed lines? Local number portability include some thing as Standard Transfer, Like-for-Like Transfer. These are really challenging to setup and bill accordingly.

It is remained to see how number portability steers Indian mobile market. As of now, big service providers have always enjoyed their market presence, often boasting unlikely customer subscriptions and various other things. Mobile Number Portability will test big companies very badly.


Aug 13, 2010: Looks like MNP will be finally rolled out on October 31, 2010.


9 responses to “Mobile Number Portability Process in India

  1. DINESH January 7, 2010 at 5:35 AM

    let the vodafone suck to give 10p call rates by just 20rupees bonus to speak to all over INDIA.why should my people leave a foriegn country to suck the blood of my INDIA. SEE a simple example once for 1rs 100sms were given and now with 10rs topup gives only 6rs and fuckin only 10sms. i hate a foriegn company to live for money in india. so FUCK OFF VODAFONE

  2. Ankit Poddar June 3, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Kindly check your facts.

    The process that you have defined as dipping is in fact the porting process.

    dipping is the query system as defined by regulation 9 of 2009 by TRAI

    • SREE GURUPARAN June 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM

      Thanks for the note, Ankit. I need to check the documents before updating. Since they are yet to put the system in place, it is really difficult to know what it is in reality. 😦

  3. PTZ August 30, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Nice work! great blog

  4. Aman February 25, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    wow docomo…..wow just rs 94 recharge for 1p/3 sec plan for 365 days and 1st 3 sms for the day will be charged and rest 100 free great …i have MNP’d to DOCOMO great network great planss..

  5. Ravindra March 3, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    AIRTEL MNP Complent

    Location: Nagpur,Maharashtra,India

    Posted By: Ravindra M.Wakodikar (Date of posting:03/03/2011)

    AIRTEL is Rejecting my Porting Request but not they even inform me about the rejection by making one SMS.
    AIRTEL rejecting my MNP application. Process of Porting started on Date:10/02/2011 and porting id given to me is AZ145472. Which expires on Date:24/02/2011.
    I am using AIRTEL no 9096373776 (Nagpur,Maharashtra) for nearly the last 3 yrs . And i want to change my mobile operator Through mobile number portability from AIRTEL to TATA Docomo.
    And i went to TATA Docomo show room and i submit my id proof and porting charges porting ID.

    But i receive a message from TATA Docomo that AIRTEL mobile operator reject your porting . Then i went to the head office of AIRTEL (Dharmpeth area,nagpur) to know what is the problelm , they told me that there is no prob from AIRTEL side you have to contact TATA Docomo they havent complete the processes of porting ,so i again go to TATA Docomo office (civil lines,above icici bank Nagpur, Maharashtra). so they show me that AIRTEL had rejected my porting request so we can’t help you in this.Then i again go to AIRTEL office and they again told me that thats not our resposibility they are simply delaying my complaint saying somany lies. from last 10,12 days they kicking me like footboll from AIRTEL office to TATA Docomo office but no onc can tell me the exact ptoblem. Actually MNP is a customer right. but here AIRTEL is denying that right for me.

    I am planning to file a complaint in consumer court for compensation. it is big mental harresment to me. PLz help me….

    about this problem i had called
    at AIRTEL customer care at 121 . 198 , 999 number several times and also visit the customer care office at nandanvan and head office at Dharmpeth.

    Please. Help me sir

    • SREE GURUPARAN March 26, 2011 at 3:40 AM

      Ravindra.. as you would have noticed with the delay in the response of your comment, this blog is not the forum to address individual issues.. hope you have got rectified.


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  7. dilip kumar December 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    i am bsnl se mts me sim port krwai thi mts me mere docoment phuch gye lekin bsnl sim band nhi hui or mts chalu nhi hui no 9413009959 h plz sir riqust problam sol krdo sir ji.

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