Mobile Number Portability

Guide to Mobile Number Portability and Ownership Transfer

How to port your existing phone number to another telecom operator?

You can choose across a various service telecom providers in India like Reliance, TATA, Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, BSNL and Idea

I recently got my number ported from Operator A to Operator B. As an experiment, I tried this for both postpaid and prepaid number.

Given below are the steps which you need to follow, these are the same steps which you will find on most of the telecom operator’s website too. I will try and through some insights to the problems I faced and how best you can work around it.

How the SMS will come for MNP

When you are in the process of a mobile phone number portability process, how will the SMS appear in India?


  1. Send a message as PORT <space> Mobile Number to 1900 Eg: PORT 7777777777 and send this message to 1900. You will receive a UPC Code in message. Note it down. The UPC is valid for 15 days (30 days in case of J&K, NE & Assam Service Areas).
  2. Now goto the nearest Customer service centre or the retailer of the operator you want to shift to and fill the Form and pay Rs. 19. In the form you have to mention UPC Code ( From Step 1). Submit your Identity, Address Proof and Photograph. For Corporate/Company connections a NOC is required for MNP, duly signed and stamped on the company letter head by the authorized signatory of the company along with the other documents.
  3. The customer centre will give a empty sim, after your payment and document submission. With in 1 day you will receive an acceptance message to confirm the porting.
  4. Change over takes place on the 7th working day (15th working day in case of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas). You will get an SMS from the operator with the date and time for porting. The service disruption time shall be around 2 hrs during night time of the date/time of porting.
  5. Insert the new sim in your phone, Now you are in the new network with old number.

Once you ported to new operator, the minimum time to stay with the new operator is 3 months. So in this 3 months time you cannot port your number once again. Also MNP currently is possible only within your telecom circle Eg- MH circle number cannot be ported to KA circle, It can be ported from say Vodafone-MH to TATA-MH only.

I have gone through this process for both prepaid as well as postpaid connections and in my experience porting a prepaid sim card is the fastest and more easier than post paid.

The reasons which make porting a postpaid connection difficult are as follows

  1. You need to clear all your dues up to the time of porting (when there is a 2 hour service disruption). In case you have any dues pending, your current operator can reject your porting request.
  2. During this time you will get calls from the retention team of the current operator asking you the reasons for porting out and they will try and resolve your problem and offer you competitive plans to retain you.
  3. After getting past these hurdles, they will finally honor your MNP request. It took me 10-14 days to port my postpaid number out.

For prepaid, there was not much hassle and the transition was very smooth. As promised, it took 7 working days for the porting to happen. The reason being 25.0%* of an Operator’s revenue comes from 4.0%* of it’s postpaid customers. Hence when you port out a prepaid connection the revenue impact to the operator is not much. (*Rough Estimate)

My suggestion would be convert your postpaid connection to prepaid and then the MNP process will be very smooth.


How to switch mobile number network operator

We try and tell you the fastest and easiest way to move out of an existing telecom operator giving you troubles to another one.


Transfer of Ownership is a very tricky procedure and each operator has his own set of rules which they follow. For example Operator A will charge you some amount as transfer fee, Operator B will refuse Transfer of Ownership since it does not adhere to some of its policy. In India, we have more than 8 telecom operators and this process is very operator specific. Hence you will need to get in touch with your operator to know the exact procedure.

Also MNP process can be used in case you want to do Transfer of Ownership as well. In this case all you need to do is submit the documents of the new owner to the new operator while doing the above MNP procedure.

If you need any further elaboration on the procedure or have any doubts or queries please refer to the links below