All that will now change with the introduction of MNP. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Mobile Number Portability.
What is Mobile Number Portability?
If you’ve not been updated about this, this service lets you stick to your current number and switch to another operator. For instance, if you are not happy with your current service provider, or if you’re getting a better tariff plan that suits your requirement with another, you can change to that particular provider without having to give up your existing number.
Is it possible to change service operators between circles? For E.g. Move to another city and change to a different operator Well you can’t do this, at least for now. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has allotted two zones so that all number porting requests don’t overload a single Mobile Clearing House.
Zone I consists of Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Eastern and Western Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir Licensed Service Areas (LSA).
Zone II includes Kolkata, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, North East and Orissa LSAs
Because of the configuration of individual Telecom circles, porting can happen between Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh; Bihar & Jharkhand; Rest of West Bengal & Andaman and Nicobar; within the states of the North East except Assam. Apart from these states, you cannot move between any other circle or zone. So if you want to switch operators between Mumbai and Delhi that's not going to happen just yet.
What if I want to switch from GSM to CDMA or vice versa or CDMA to CDMA? There’s no problem in doing that. You’re only moving from one service provider to another and there’s no need to worry about mobile technologies. You just need to make sure that you have a GSM-enabled handset when moving to a GSM operator or a CDMA handset when moving to a CDMA operator. 2*
What’s the exact procedure of porting a number?
1. Get your Unique Porting Code (UPC) by sending a message titled - PORT followed by your number and then send this message to 1900.
2. Get in touch with the Recipient operator (the one you wish to switch to). This can be done by going to their customer centers or retail outlets. There you’re supposed to make a 'Port-in' request by filling a Customer Agreement Form (CAF) and a 'Port-in' form. The documents that you need to submit include a copy of your address and identity proof. A PAN Card, Passport or Driving License will do for Identity while your Ration card or electricity bill is good enough as your address proof. In case you are a post-paid consumer, you’ll also have to provide a copy of your last bill, fully paid of course, to your previous service provider.
Remember, you cannot port your number to another operator with any outstanding dues held with your existing provider. In the case of pre-paid users, once your mobile number gets ported, your remaining balance will lapse. So make sure to use all your balance out before porting.
3. Once all your documents are submitted, your number will undergo the porting procedure. This should take around 7 days, no more than that as per TRAI regulations. Don’t worry about your number suddenly going inactive; it will be active for this period. However, when your new service gets activated, your service will be disrupted for 2 hours, sometime between 10.00 pm to 5.00 am so that you aren't inconvenienced too much.
What if I'm not happy with the new...