Thursday, January 20, 2011

What does number portability mean for us?

How many of us are aware of the silent war taking place between open source and mother commerce over the right to make data transmission and storage free to use.

Google Voice and other such applications are becoming the norm now. While we fret over how to send an SMS and get the paperwork together to get a new provider on our old cell number, here is what google is doing with number portability.

Back on home turf, here is how you can get a new provider in roughly 5 days.

The portability request will be registered after the MNPSP receives an SMS from the customer, and the process starts with a reply to the sender informing the Unique Porting Code (UPC). UPC is a confirmation code consisting of 8 characters of which the first two shall be alphabets that denote the operator's code and service area code that have been specified by the authority.

'This code allocated to a subscriber shall be valid for a period of 15 days from the date of request or such time till the number is ported out, ” reported TRAI guideline. It would be catered to all service areas except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East licensed areas where the validity period is of 30 days

MNPSP needs to retain the UPC number for verification of the request, as they are expected to maintain a database.

Customers also need to visit the respective outlet / showroom fill the Mobile Number Porting (MNP) form providing details like-current mobile number, current operator name and UPC code along with their documents (generation of UPC before/after the form filling depends on the respective operator).

Since, the recipient operator incurs a cost for the per port transaction charge which is payable to the MNPSP for processing the porting request, the respective operators are allowed by TRAI to charge a minimal amount (depending on the service provider) to the customer for the new connection (SIM card). This is a non-refundable amount.

After getting the data and verification, the customers receive porting date and time.

The No Service Period

Here comes the no service period. It is the period of time between the disconnection of the mobile telephone service to the porting subscriber by the donor operator and the activation of mobile telephone service, onporting, by the recipient operator. In a few cases, like Airtel, this period stays from 12am (midnight) to 5 am. After which, they can change the SIM and start using the services of the new operator. Any customer wanting to cancel the request for MNP should apply within 24 hours of the first request for UPC.

Before requesting for the move, the customers have to ensure that they have no dues remaining with the donor operator, and that the number is not expired one (though SIM card claim to give life-time validity).

So enjoy your life with your new provider or your old provider, a marriage is still a marriage!!

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