New Delhi, Sep 8: Although the facility to change mobile network provider while retaining the number is available since 2011, getting it done remained a hassle. It used to take around a week to 15 days and multiple visits to cellphone service provider's outlets to get it done.
But, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to quicken the the entire Mobile Number Portability (MNP) process. TRAI is looking to speed up the process time for mobile operator change to two working days for a better end-user experience.
TRAI has issued a consultation paper in April to review guidelines on number portability which will ensure a hassle-free experience for consumers who wish to port from one network to another.
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The regulator aims to entirely automate this process to ensure a smooth porting experience for users. If all the conditions are met with, the process request time could be 48 hours.
There are, however, certain pre-conditions. The existing connection must be active for at least 90 days and at the time of porting, all the previous bills should be clear.
Mobile Number Portability:
Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network carrier to another. Mobile number portability is implemented in different ways across the globe. The International and European standard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new network (recipient), which then sends the number portability request (NPR) to the current network (donor). This is known as "recipient-led" porting. The UK and India are the only exceptions to implement the donor-led system.
The customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the donor to obtain a code (Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) in the UK and Unique Porting Code (UPC) in India) which is then given to the recipient network. The recipient continues the porting process by contacting the donor with a porting code. This form of porting is known as "donor-led" and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient, though it prevents MNP scams. It has also been observed that it may act as customer deterrent as well as allowing the donor an opportunity of "winning back" the customer.