Tired of your current postpaid plan and can’t wait to switch providers? Let Airtel sort you out with easy mobile number portability.
The earliest days of mobile phone usage in India were characterised by high calling charges and frequent network outages. There were just a handful of mobile service providers in the country, and only a choice between taking a prepaid connection or a postpaid one.
Cut to today, when there are multiple mobile service providers and a lot of variety in terms of postpaid plans for every major Indian city and town. Since there exists a healthy competition among service providers, there are myriad options in postpaid plans. Even more importantly, you have the option to switch to another service provider if you are not happy with the current level of services.
Switching to another mobile service provider
Earlier, switching to another service provider entailed cancelling your earlier connection and closing it down entirely. After settling your dues, you could buy a connection with another provider. The phone number changed in this case. It was an inconvenient and long-winded process, and you would need to replace all your lost contacts and data manually.
Today, the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has made Mobile Number Portability (MNP) simple for customers, and a mandatory offering for mobile service providers. As a customer, you are entitled to change your service provider while retaining your number – and since most people link their phone data to the Google storage cloud, you can just insert a new SIM card and get your phone data back in just a few minutes. Apart from phone contacts, you can also retain your chats, emails and all other communication after MNP.
Things to know about porting your number to another provider
- You can start the porting process by sending a text SMS PORT <Your 10-digit mobile number> to 1900. TRAI forwards this request to your existing mobile service provider, who then takes up the porting request with you directly. You will be issued a token number to check the MNP status periodically.
- The TRAI mandates that your current service provider cannot charge you MNP fees when you initiate the switch or at any time during the process when you check the MNP status. The service provider can bill you the usage charges till the date of actual cancellation of the connection.
- The new mobile service provider should not charge more than Rs 19 for facilitating the MNP, or for allowing you to check the MNP status. We recommend that you opt for a provider like Airtel, that does not charge processing fees on MNP but only for the new Airtel SIM.
- Leading providers like Airtel activate the SIM within 24 hours of checking your biometric credentials, or a physical check of your home address. Both may be done in some cases.