Come 16 December, 2019 and you will need not more than three days to port out your mobile number without any hassle from your service provider to its rival. That’s when The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India mandated rules will come into effect. Mobile users, wishing to port out, have so far been at the mercy of their service provider who often hid behind flimsy grounds to prevent them from shifting out.
As per the existing rules, a company had to port out a customer in 15 days from the time the request to do so was generated. But it often took the mobile users more than a week to manage their port out. The company would generally cite excuses like non receipt of the port-out request or non-payment of some dues to hold back the customer who would then be bombarded with cheaper plans to change his decision.
“The portability service provider (different from the mobile services provider) will now manage the port-out request and not the mobile services operator. It’s a matter of time that port out will begin to happen the same day the unique porting code (UPC) is generated once a CMS is put in place," a senior TRAI official told Mint. He went on to add that it would now be possible to complete the port out requests in an even shorter time of 2 days under the new rules.
UPC is an eight-digit alphanumeric number that a mobile user has to secure by sending an SMS to ‘1900’ in case they wish to port out. It is valid for a fortnight within which the porting out should happen. Sometimes, companies deliberately go slow on porting out requests and let a fortnight lapse after which porting-out requests are no longer valid. TRAI’s new rules will make all this history.
Mobile number portability (MNP) requests within a circle will be completed in three days whereas those involving a change of the circle will take five days. Five days will be needed to port out corporate numbers too. Number of days needed to complete port out requests in Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and states in north east remains unchanged at 30 days.
In September, 5.39 million subscribers submitted requests for portability. With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased to 457.6 million at the end of September. At the end of that month, India had 1.17 billion mobile users.