Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance have started implementing mobile number portability (MNP) as of this month. Note that in March, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan S Mathews had said that telecom operators were likely to miss the pan-India Mobile Number Portability (MNP) deadline of 3 May 2015, with no new deadline provided then. As of now, it looks like at least some telecom operators have started implementing MNP anyway.
Airtel: The telecom operator will allow customers to retain their number when moving between states except customers shifting to J&K, Assam and the North East. Customers will also be allowed to carry their existing numbers from one operator to another. MNP will be applicable to both prepaid and postpaid customers.
Airtel mentions requests made will be processed within 24 hours. If porting within Airtel’s network, customers will be provided with free roaming. Remaining balance in their accounts will also be transferred to the new network. To avail this service, users need to put in requests at any of its retail outlets or service centers.
Vodafone: The telecom operator also enabled MNP across its network. Users will be able to carry over their number to another circle or to another operator. To avail the service, users need to visit a Vodafone outlet and generate an 8 digit UPC code by sending an sms to 1900. Users then need to fill up the CAF and porting-in form along with submitting other relevant documents.
Reliance: The telecom operator mentions it’s ready to roll out MNP from today, and will let customers retain their mobile numbers in any part of the country. Reliance mentions that it will provide ‘attractive’ plans for users porting in from other networks, however the network does not mention how users can port out of its service. It’s not clear if the company offers the porting away of numbers at all.
Other operators like BSNL, MTNL, Docomo or Videocon have not yet revealed when they will roll out MNP over their network. We will update this article as and when they do.
Long time coming: The TRAI had previously recommended pan-India inter circle mobile number portability (MNP) within six months in September 2013, which did not happen. Similarly in December 2012, telecom minister Kapil Sibal had announced that nationwide mobile number portability will be implemented in the country by February 2013, which also did not happen. In May, an ET report mentioned that it would take operators 6 months to roll out the full MNP system after the DoT accepted the recommendations.