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What is MNP - A Complete Guide to Mobile Number Portability

17 Apr '24
3 min read


Smartphones are versatile tools that we rely on for various purposes. However, have you ever heard of a service called 'Mobile Number Portability?' It allows you to switch to a different telecom operator while keeping the same number. This service wasn't available until 2011, but by January 2011, all customers could move their phone numbers and switch between telecom operators.


What is MNP?

Moving or 'porting' numbers is as simple as sending a text that says 'PORT' from your phone. Your existing service provider will then provide you with a unique porting code, which you must share with your carrier. Once that code is entered and running, the carrier ensures you pay your old account in full. Then, the information is verified, and you will receive a text message confirming when your number will be ported to the new carrier. The process usually takes about seven days, but it can also take more time - up to 15 days, depending on the state in which you reside. The actual process, however, will take about two hours, during which time you won't be able to use your phone, but you can rest assured that your number will be safely transferred to your new carrier.

Once the process is successful, you will receive a text message confirming your phone number has been ported.


Benefits of MNP

A primary benefit of MNP is that it allows for healthy competition among telecom service providers. Back in the day, when the portability of mobile numbers was not available, customers were reluctant to switch between numbers or providers. It also meant that telecom operators did not need to improve services. However, all that changed with the introduction of mobile number portability, and today, customers not only have the freedom to choose which mobile operator they want to go with, but the pricing has also become more competitive, and so have the mobile networks and their services.


Drawbacks of MNP

However, porting mobile numbers also comes with several drawbacks. For instance, there may be technical glitches, such as call drops and message delivery failures. You might also notice delays in the porting process. On the telecom industry front, there have been many churn rates, which have caused revenue and profitability to drop.



Despite the drawbacks, the mobile number portability service has proven beneficial for both customers and telecom service providers because of its flexibility and convenience. However, it has undoubtedly posed many challenges in the form of delays and technical issues on the customer side and high turnover rates on the telecom service provider's end. Still, over the years, there has been much progress in technological advancements, and you can rest assured that the government will continue to vouch for the service and its increased adoption.

Category : Education


Written by Tejas Prasanna