Mobile Number Portability In India: Don’t Be Trapped!


So starting from today( Thursday, 20/02/2011 ), the MNP or the Mobile Number Portability service is available all over India. So far, this facility was avilable only in Haryana(from November 25 2010) in India. Now this facility is available all over India and hence you can retain the same number and switch from one operator to another.


Customers who wish to exercise this option will have to send an SMS from their phone, send PORT ” Your mobile number without quotes ” to 1900. Subsequently, they will get a unique porting code as a reply from the existing service provider. The customer can then apply in the prescribed format, mentioning the code, to the new service provider for porting the number.

New operator should take a maximum of 7 days to process the application. The subscriber will have to pay Rs 19 as porting charge. Once a subscriber shifts to another operator, he cannot port his number again for another 90 days.

MNP has been available in many parts of the world from many years now. Its ironical to see the 2nd largest consumers of the mobile phone in the world(India) is getting this service now. And the 3G spectrum is not still available in all parts of the country. India is a leading country when it comes to technology, but the political situation makes it look poor and backward! If all were good, 4G would have already been implemented in India.

I’m sure, now mobile operators will start providing offers which are tied with the number of years! If you stay with them longer, you will get better offer(They may claim). Once you pay for 3 or more years, you will get stuck with them for atleast 3 years and you think you got the most precious offer, and only after some days you will see call drops, surprise SMS fees, high GPRS costs, low internet bandwidth etc. So make sure before committing to any operator for long term.

MNP helpline numbers:
IDEA MNP Helpline: 1800-270-0000 (Toll-free)
Vodafone MNP Helpline: 1800-1234567 (Toll-free)
TATA Docomo MNP Helpline: 1800-266-0000 (Toll-free)
Aircel MNP Helpline: 98020 98020

I wish this MNP brings in more flexibility and peace of mind to customers.

ps: Public notice: It is advised not to line up outside your paanwalla shop for switching to new mobile operator. MNP is starting today, not ending 🙂

* No pending bills with old service provider, before the transfer.
Existing offers and balance amount will not be carried to the new network.

25 thoughts on “Mobile Number Portability In India: Don’t Be Trapped!”

  1. I would like to clarify the wrong statement

    “Existing offers and balance amount will not be carried to the new network”

    Sorry to say.. In case of Prepaid the balance amount will be carried forward to the new network..and tarriff as per the new provider will apply for the number.

  2. @Prashanth, Thanks!

    @Ash, This is the info I got from a service provider when I called them as a customer. Sad.

    Thanks for the heads up. Do you know the exact procedure to get the balance after the migration? I think there will be some SMS short code to do this?

  3. the docomo store i went to was clueless that i could port to them.. they said the “forms are not here yet” … so much for my excitement to get on a train and do…

  4. hahahah.. @jake were you surprised by that! I wouldn’t be surprised if my local store said like that! Instead call to the above mentioned help line. For TATA Docomo call 1800-266-0000 (its Toll-free)

  5. Its 24 hours sicne I put in my request on the DoCoMo portal and havent yet heard from them..

    I thought that right now all operators would ensure that they man the hits they get on their MNP calls from other subscribers and quickly try to make the best of it..

    Seems like even MNP can’t change the attitude with a particular tier of Operators..

    So i am going to put in a request with some other operators as well and see how fast they respond..

    Airtel: Already called me (by fluke) asking if I was interested to move over….

    DoCoMo: No response after 24 hrs

    IDEA: Will put in a request today

    LOOP: Will put in a request today

    AIRCEL: Will put in a request today

    Lets see.. More later…


  6. @Ash, Sad to hear that.. And any update on how to transfer the old balance?
    Is there a procedure for that or it happens by default once we are moved ?

    Waiting to hear more updates from you..

  7. Actually I have also applied for the transfer, but haven’t heard back 🙁

    Purposefully I have left some balance amount to see if its carried forward to the new network or not.

  8. @Ash : It has been 72 hours since I put in my request to docomo portal and me too never heard anything from them… My town retailers says that new forms for Idea,Vodafone and airtel are available readily but not docomo.. So I am thinking of changing my mind to switch to Idea.

  9. @Venkat, Yap, I also heard from a representative that balance won’t be carried forward. But @Ash told its possible(2nd comment). So waiting to hear back from her. We believe in what customers say, than representative!

    Sad to know that DoCoMo isn’t responding quickly. I will ask them to see these comments.

  10. hi i am also facing problem with porting actually first i send a port request to 1900 and i got a upc code from them but unfortunately i deleted that one so again next day i send an sms to 1900 requesting upc code again i got another code. after that i went to tatadocomo dellar and i submitted the proofs required along with that second upc code . then i got a message by telling ur request is rejected due to upc miss match. so i submitted correct upc again to the docomo retailer. but after that vodafone blocked my incoming sms now what i have to do because i am not getting any conformation regarding my porting request.

  11. I am not getting a UPC Code, i have sms PORT ‘my number’ to 1900, and haven’t get the UPC code still. ITS 24 hours. I am existing loop mobile customer. Can any one help me

  12. @naresh, Get in touch with TaTaDoCoMo via another cell phone and ask them if your request is being processed. If they asked YES, then you need not worry. If they say NO, then call Vodafone and tell what has happened and explain them what you want and tell them to unblock the incoming sms’es.
    When you call from other number, they will ask for some verification questions.

    @Darshan, Call Customer Care

    Loop Mobile Customer Care Number:

    Call 9821099800
    Loop Mobile Toll Free Customer Care Number:

    Call 800 from both prepaid and postpaid from your Loop Mobile phone
    Loop Mobile Tool Free MobileAssist Number:

    Call 198 for service requests and complaints
    Complain Online To Loop Mobile Customer Care:

    Email To Loop Mobile Customer Care:

  13. Hi,
    I am unable to get the UPC even after sending several sms’s to 1900 typing PORT (my no.) All I get is “Dear Subscriber, the shortcode you have entered is wrong” from loop mobile. And I have even complained several times on customer care no. but no results yet! They keep on telling me that there is no problem from their end and it should work. But it doesn’t. My mobile settings are also fine as I am able to send sms to other nos. What should I do in this case??

  14. I’ve been facing the problem of rejection of portability by Loop. Reason:–Violation of Contract” Jeez! Look who’s violating who’s contract? What about their promise of giving me a quality network, no call-drops and good connectivity? Loop cant even reach me, much as they want me to stay with them forever!! They, too, get messages saing “Not reachable” and “switched off”. One month later, and having paid Voda Rs19 twice, I’m back to square 1. I’m on billing, have an ECS so no-one can accuse me of non-payment of bills, have paid Rs500 up front which I dont want back, BUT only want to port out. Any suggestions?

  15. @parag, @Lulu, File a regular complaint with your present service provider. Get the complaint number. Explain your problems and if you think they are not following the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) rules, file a complaint against the service provider in consumer court.

    People in India must be aware of consumer court policy and must exercise their rights in situations like this.

    It’s not just about Money, it’s about being an Indian and being treated with justice.

    Make sure you have tried all means before going to consumer court. And make sure you have all the proof that you have actually tried to sort out the problems directly via service provider.

  16. Thx, Satish, went to Loop Gallery, and they were apologetic, gave me a complaint no, promised the port wud happen soon. The girl there, fortunately, recognized me and even greeted me with “You were here on the 2nd of Feb”!!Then went to Voda next door. They said it shud be done within 5 Days, no re-submission of documents etc…(everything takes so long, no wonder we are last in line in the global race for progress). In the UK, it takes a couple of hrs and we dont even have to get out of our homes. In the US, within minutes! Lets see what happens after 5 days. Then boyo, Consumer Court, here we come! Btw, what’s the procedure re the Cons Court?

  17. My last post was on 1st feb. And now I will let you all know the story from then till now. So here it goes…

    after several complains on customer care no., I was told that I should send an email on complaining about the same. I did that. But did not get any reply. Then I was told again by customer care guys to visit a near by loop gallery and the problem will be solved. I did that. and the guy out there told he will put a note about it and I will get a call within 24 hours and also I should complain my relationship manager about it and I won’t need to visit the gallery again for the same. So I complain my relationship manager about it and she has no clue about it and tells me I need to visit the gallery for it. She can’t help in that matter. I told her the guys at the gallery told me the relationship manager will help and you are saying the gallery will help. So what the hell am I suppose to do? So she tells me that she will get back to me in sometime. But no reply for few days. So I try to call her again but now she stops answering my call!

    So again I am back to square one and call up the customer care people but they repeat the same old story.. Visit the gallery, call the relationship manager… So I explain that I have been to the gallery and complained the so called relationship manager but no response yet and now the relationship manager has stopped answering my calls altogether! Like a angry girlfriend! Lol! So I am told to call the Nodal officer and also email them. I call up the nodal desk. And some guy tells me that its not their problem but trai is at fault here. And he cannot help in this case! So I again visit the gallery and meet the same chap who told me last time that I will get a reply within 24 hours but its been 2 weeks now but still no reply. So this time he tells me he can’t help me in this case. This problem cannot be solved from the gallery. So I need to again email the nodal desk and they will only help me. He can’t do anything on this case! He has not got a reply himself for the note he had sent last time.

    So now I directly called up the TRAI in delhi on a number I got from the TRAI website. The trai officer I spoke said that its not a trai issue and the loop mobile is at fault and they are lying that its trai’s problem. But now he will take action against them and I will get a call from loop mobile soon about the same. He also gave me a email address on which he told me to complain about the whole issue. I did that. Infact I sent the email to that address and also the one more email address I got from the trai website. And I also sent one more email to loop mobile. and that was on 14th feb. But still no reply. So have called up and written everyone I can, visited the gallery twice.. But no action yet! Each and everyone at loop mobile told me that “sorry sir, we can’t help you!” Right from customer care people to Nodal officer! and now even TRAI people have not helped yet even after calling and also writing mails.

    The most funny thing is now after all this, the service has gone from bad to worse! My calls are frequently dropped! But I have no option now but to continue with loop! We are trapped even after MNP and no ones ready to help! Nor the mobile company nor the Government! And after all this now I don’t want to waste any more time with the consumer court! as I heard it usually takes about a couple of years to solve a case there!

  18. Parag–sorry to hear about your harassment. I’ve been facing the same thing. Its back and forth and I, too, seem trapped with them. However, like all divorces they dont understand that the person can walk out if he doesn’t want anything from them. Right now we want the old no, that’s all. If u r on a contract, just forget about it: yor not getting any money bak once u’ve paid in advance. I’d suggest if u have an ECS then cancel that as well, build up a huge bill which means they have to write it off. Its all about how much yor willing to let go. Go to another network provider and start life afresh. Try and get a no very similar to your old no, and move on.
    I was at the Loop Gallery again today and they promised I wud get the sanction within 2 hrs (after one mth of chasing this one and that one)! Uptil now nothing’s happened.
    Now I’ve decided to cancel my ECS, build up a huge bill– whenever I get the network, and even if not I don’t care.
    If I’m forced to give up my old no, I’m prepared to lose some money (basically, the security deposit) and go for another no with another provider. Seriously u won’t die a pauper but they will get a lot of bad advertisement. In fact everywhere I go I’ve been telling ppl (esp those coming from abroad and want a prepaid sim), NOT to go for Loop. Even outside the Loop Gallery, I’ve gone up to ppl and given them advice against Loop.
    Sad but true, I’ve been with Loop since its inception and this is attitude I’ve been facing!

  19. @Lulu – This is the kind of harrasment I am facing after being one of their high value customer! My bill is usually high with high usage.. And always paid on time! Not opted for ECS though. I just want my number.. Don’t care much about the security deposit too. All this looks like a nagging old wife.. Where you can’t use the service properly nor allowed to go! Hahaha..

  20. Guys, I can feel the pain now. It hurts more when you are so loyal and the person you are loyal to, doesn’t care 🙁

    But you people really think “Consumer Court” will not help ?

    [ Personally I don’t have 100% faith in Indian Courts yet. There are many cases where we can clearly see political influence in the decision, and bad manners from low level courts to Supreme court. No surprise we still have a lot of simple unsolved problems in India. But we have to hope for the best. Everything is in HOPE and LOVE. If we hope for the best, often we get it, if not we will get something just below the best. ]

    Personal beliefs apart, the proceedings in Consumer Court will be fast, if you have proper proof.

    And believe me, most of the time service providers start working properly when you tell them about consumer court.

    I will let you guys know proper rules for filing complaint in Consumer Court. I have a friend who is a well known advocate.

    You may or may not go with consumer court this time, but lets know what kind of privilege we have got!

    I’m not sure, if it will help you.. but that’s the most I can do; and also not recommend bad service providers to anyone.

  21. Thx Satish. No worries re the Cons Ct. I have a ploy up my sleeve. I may lose a bit but not as much as I’m losing now in terms of stress, frustration and worry. If everyone were to follow that route then I think Loop will surely die a slow death! Let me go ahead with this and once I succeed, which I’m sure I will, I’ll put it on this site. 🙂

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