Mobile Number Portability in India: Do we really need it?

Much awaited Mobile Number Portability (MNP) facility has finally made the debut in Haryana, and will be now available all over India on January 20, 2011. Follow these steps to use MNP and switch your mobile operator

Implementation of MNP has been done on zonal basis, i.e. the country has been divided in two zones :

  • Zone 1 which consists of Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP (East), UP (West), Himachal Pradesh and J&K.
  • Whereas Zone 2 consists of Kolkata, Tamilnadu including Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar North East and Orissa.

Mobile Number Portability clearing house administrator (MCHA) Licensee for –

  • Zone 1 is M/s. Syniverse Technologies (India) Private Limited.
  • Zone 2 is M/s. MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India Pvt. Limited.

Mobile Number Portability in India Useful or hyped and uselessMNP switching is not going to cost you much also TRAI has asked not to charge high for the SMS sent for MNP. | In case you dont get porting code make a complain to DOT here

There were two questions which were constantly there in my mind since I heard about this MNP, which are as follows –

  • Will it be possible to change the operators irrespective of the technology they use, i.e. can a mobile number using GSM technology be switched to a CDMA technology service provider. For example – Can I switch from Reliance (CDMA) opt for an Airtel (GSM), while retaining my current mobile phone number?

Answer is “Yes, you can”. CDMA to GSM and GSM to CDMA, both types of network transitions are possible.

  • Second question : Can I switch from one circle to other, i.e. can I switch my current number which I am using in Maharashtra and Goa circle, and retain the same number in Uttar Pradesh?

Answer is “No, you can’t”. MNP facility supports changing the networks within the same circle only.

Thanks to this article by Smt. Vibha Tomar, DGM (ES & IT), BRBRAITT Jabalpur, this cleared both the queries.

Now, what could be the reason for switching to some other networks, reasons could be –

  • He/She is moving to a new city, and wants to keep the same number, in such case, if the city  falls in same circle, there isn’t any need to change the network, and if the new city one is moving to isn’t in same circle, MNP is useless for him/her.
  • A person can think of changing his/her network, as the current network seems to be having costly calling rates. However this is something useless to discuss, as the mobile phone companies already are facing a huge competition which is resulting into the benefit of users, every company is giving almost similar calling rates; also the rules set by TRAI are the reason for the minimum calling rates.
  • Another reason could be the network issue. The area, or place you live in, or you work in, may be having some connectivity issue for a particular service provider and may be some other service works well in that vicinity. More or less, even this doesn’t sound to be a very important driving factor to switch to some other network, reason being, Mobile Phones are not new to India, people are using mobile phones for ages now, if at all any such issue is there, one would have already opted for the best service provider in terms of network coverage.

Apart from all this, even for some reason if you want to change your mobile phone number, there are so many simple ways to update your contacts about it, email, social networking site, SMS (almost all the companies has some plans using which you can get loads of free SMS or on a rate as cheap as 1paisa).

Now my concern is – why was MNP needed, if at all we have the resources and we are capable enough to launch such a service which needs so much of arrangements that it was postponed a couple of times, then why don’t we think of something which can really bring some change in telecom sector. It’s like, instead of watching a video from your hard disk, you prefer watching a Video on YouTube just because you have an internet connection at your disposal.

If you ask me, MNP is not something so worthy as it seems to be, it is something highly hyped and overrated. What do you think? Kindly share your views in comments, and tell us do you find MNP to be something really useful?


  1. hello.
    im using andhra pradesh Reliance number… but now im going to settle in tamilnadu…. at present my sim is in roaming…
    i want my number to be a local no for tamilnadu and i wish to continue in the same Reliance network of tamilnadu…
    is it possible to change the number from state to state with same network
    plz mail me the details……
    thank you

  2. dude, you might not be having any problem till now. Wait till any problems comes and see how they solves it. I had problem with reliance and its been a week and they can’t explain properly how to solve it. i’ve tried to call nodal officer to email head office, but all they have is a routine answer that they can’t file complain.

  3. Super Launch..Guys except BSNL go to choose any other network..All are introducing superb offers and hereafter competition arises among the operators.. Dont choose BSNL because their service is too worst how am saying is me and my friends are using that only and soon we will change..


  5. MNP was really very much required, its not hyped. At least there will be some check on the operators. They will consistently monitor quality of their services if they have to be in the business. They cannot take customers for granted. I wish it could have been national MNP, and not just the circle wise. People might not have been bothered to get a new number in case of relocation of their job, etc. Any way, I welcome the first step ..may be some time later, national MNP will also become a reality. My MTNL service has become so intolerable that I have waiting desperately for the MNP … now also I am looking forward to the date of implementation in Mumbai …god save people from MTNL mobile ..

  6. Really MNP is very much required. I support Raj. The person who has written this article forget something that everyone does not choose mobile phone network operators after a proper study of their quality but mostly they go by the best available entry level offer. eg: when a college student opts for a Mobile No: it will be mainly based on the area he is in and his current interests like free SMS, free inter network calls between friends etc. But as he grows old and enter a job he may be in an area were the particular service provider has no proper network. So he will be left with no other option other than to change his existing Number if MNP is not implemented. The network operator is not going to consider his problems as that specific area is not something that generates them heavy revenues(strategic decision).

    On contrary to what you have said above it is not possible to change one’s mobile number so easily, many accounts banking/Trading/online are linked directly to the current number. To change all of them will not be an easy task as each one will involve their on verification processes. So MNP can be very helpful in such cases, it will not only force operators for lowest possible rates but also will force them to provide better network.

    In my case I am just counting down the days upto Jan 20 to change my Vodafone No: to any other, and I know many people who opts for the same, the real effect of MNP implementation can be seen when it is implemented in Metros and big cities where people will be dying for change of operator.

  7. @Raj Thanks for this awesome comment, I appreciate it 🙂 also I fully agree with you on keeping a check by the companies on the call and network quality, that is something which should have been included in this in article. However I never knew about the bad quality of MTNL services, I have always used private companies services throughout my stay in Pune, though I have used BSNL in Uttar Pradesh, but the services are awesome in that region.

  8. Is it possible to Port from one state to other?
    If Yes, Then May i know Porting No for Reliance from Punjab to Rajasthan?
    Please Help Me……..

  9. what do i think ?? i think u are a complete ideiot .. mnp is really ment for professionals, business men, social workers .. etc .. you would wonder why … its because people like us cant really track who and all we have given our numbers in the past years .. and we sometimes mey get calls from a client may be after 2 or 3 years from the time of giveing them our business card. its quite impossible to call, email, sms all people who you have passed on your business card to … because i dont even remember who n all i have given it to..
    when i took my airtel number around 9 years back airtel was the best network here in bangalore, but now it sucks real time .. they take my money just like that .. their customer
    support is a bunch of fools .. they donno what they r talking .. i wanted to change from airtel .. and i had applied for a docomo port in.
    i think mnp is really nessary.

  10. @Birupaksha Pradha

    I have done MBA from Australia. There MNP is fast, i switched Vodafone to three to optus with same Number. it takes about 2-5hr max. But Little different from India. Just buy sim , call to customer care, request for MNP , tell ur current Provider and its Done.

    So in short your number will be exactly same . Your Balance will be ruin out.


    I am from UP east and waiting for MNP. I want to switch from IDEA to AIRTEL. I am using IDEA Postpaid as my current number is diamond Plus. It cost me about 10,000 rs. IDEA is overall good in services, but i like Airtel. Till Now i havnt face even a single difficulty from IDEA. Yet CC is little bit frustrating but far better than Airtel( They are dumbo, idiots) . Another issue is little slow website. I think IDEA must upgrade their servers and make their CC 24hr.

    If Idea Launches 3G services till Feb then i will not go for MNP.
    I use Internet very much on my iphone 4 . BSNL is good but not upto expectation.

    ALL IN ONE. MNP () is the best part in telecommunication era after internet. You have freedom .
    TRAI is Best.

  11. Its a tricky brilliant problem for me…
    Am moving to chennai-tamilanadu from karnataka,presently am using Airtel…
    For me MNP over different circle is not working,so anyone please give me idea for this problem ,which should be cheap & better…
    I mean “i am ready to switch to docomo or idea or airtel”,but i want less deduction of INR for incoming calls & free message…
    So any brilliant person ,please help me…


  12. @Raj Thanks for this awesome comment, I appreciate it 🙂 also I fully agree with you on keeping a check by the companies on the call and network quality, that is something which should have been included in this in article. However I never knew about the bad quality of MTNL services, I have always used private companies services throughout my stay in Pune, though I have used BSNL in Uttar Pradesh, but the services are awesome in that region.

  13. Thanks Manav for all information about the MNP Service.I am from Mumbai and i am waiting for this service.Now i am using a vodafone number and the call charges are very high according to other service provider.Now Videocon is giving a good call rate that is 0.25p/min for both std and local calls to any network all over India on a recharge of Rs.17 bonus card for with a validity of one month.
    One question ,is my mobile number will remain exactly same after switching to a another network???????????????

  14. I think MNP is an important step to better quality and cheaper rates. It will ultimately be the survival of the fittest. I have been using the same number for the past 8 Years. Since i am into business, all my suppliers and customers have the same number. Since i have changed my phone a couple of times, a lot of my contacts have also vanished from my phone book. That being said, i cannot just go and buy another sim of other telecom company. With MNP, i can change my phone number, which i wanted to change 3 years back. Since i got this new phone with advanced features, i have been satisfied with my current service provider. They have not yet implement the MNP in my state, and the day they start this service : they’ll lose at least 1 customer. I am just waiting for the MNP to be launched across all states.

    @ Fahad : I am too from UP West, and facing the exact problem. Want to change from Idea to Airtel. Idea is pathetic. I’ll either go for Vodaphone or Airtel. Hopefully 3G would be fully matured and comparatively cheaper by then.

  15. It is a unethical means adopted by Relaince CDMA i applied for portability on 25th january with another service provider and from 27th my mobile no is disconnected and even my mobile instrument is blocked today is 6th day do you have any government office who takes care of the complaint please let me know on


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