What is Mobile number portability ?

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile phone users to retain their mobile phone number when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

In India this service is available for both postpaid and prepaid subscribers and on both GSM and CDMA technology platforms but only within your own telecom circle. Inter circle mobile number portability is expected to start from Feb 2013.

The procedure is that you send an SMS to 1900 like PORT XXXXXXXXXX. You will get an SMS reply containing an eight digit alpha-numeric code and an expiry date for it. Then you approach the new service provider with this unique porting code. Carry ID and address proof, a photograph and an application with the unique code & your mobile number. You have to complete this process within the expiry date. New operator will take request to mobile portability clearing house. Clearing house will get your number deactivated from existing provider and activate new one. You'll then get SMS from new service provider mentioning date & time when porting will take place. Your phone will go out of service for few hours while switching. The cost of porting is Rs.19. A subscriber must remain with a service provider for at least three months.