The new Mobile Number Portability (MNP) rules by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (MNP) are supposed to make it easier than ever to port your mobile number. The process is more swift and supposed to take less time (up to five days). I recently ported out my mobile number from Vodafone prepaid to switch to Airtel postpaid and here’s my experience.
Well, the first thing I did after deciding that I want to port my mobile number was to generate my Unique Porting Code (UPC). Simply, message the word ‘PORT’ followed by a space and the ten-digit mobile number which needs to be ported, to 1900.
I generated a request for UPC on December 30 and in my case, the UPC was sent on my number almost instantly, which is great. Unless your mobile number is not valid for porting, chances are you will get your UPC almost instantly like me.
Do note that you will need to clear all your outstanding dues. Here’s a tip, recharge with a little extra because even if you make one small call or send SMS before generating UPC, that will be counted towards outstanding bill. Check whether you are eligible for MNP.
Since the UPC is only valid for four days (till January 3, 2020 in my case), the next thing I had to do was head to the nearest Airtel customer care center to submit documents and fill out the customer acquisition form (CAF).
In terms of documents, all I needed was my Aadhaar card and the UPC code. The formalities took only around 15 minutes as the form was filled online by the Airtel customer care staff.
Now, here’s something I did not know. A secondary number was needed on which my One Time Password (OTP) for activation of my Airtel Mobile number was to be generated. Thankfully, I had a secondary SIM that I use, but users who don’t have secondary mobile number can generate the OTP on mobile number of their friends or family.
Another message, I received on December 30 itself was one which clearly stated when my services will be deactivated and so the porting process needs to be completed by then. For me, it was 23:01 on January 1, 2020. It was good to know for sure when my Vodafone services were going to be deactivated, so I could decide accordingly whether to go ahead with porting at that time or choose a different time period.
For those unaware, porting request can also be cancelled immediately, though you will only have around a day to cancel request. I could cancel my porting request only till 15:10 pm, January 31, 2019. To cancel request, SMS the word CANCEL to 1900.
Once my Vodafone services were deactivated, I put my Airtel SIM in my smartphone and restarted it. After about 10-15 minutes, which was the time I was told it would take for Airtel’s service to get activated, I called the number 59059 and followed instructions. During the call, I also had to enter the OTP that was generated on my secondary number to activate mobile data.
To be honest, I was expecting some hassles on the way, but surprisingly my MNP experience was nothing short of swift. TRAI has indeed implemented the new MNP rules very well and I am a happy subscriber. The revised rules come after MNP requests rose to 461.73 million at the end of October, 2019 from 457.65 million at the end of September, 2019, as per TRAI data.