Recently lucky mobile users in Haryana got MNP i.e Mobile Number Portability.
I too ported my number out from Airtel to Tata Docomo. Reason remains the super slow GPRS network (yup gprs, not even upgraded to EDGE in most of Haryana) and crazy service activation followed by irritating sms’es.
Here’s my experience with MNP:
It took around 20 days in porting of my number, and technically speaking - process is yet not (hundred percent) completed even after a month! One of the problems with system is that whenever one requests for a porting code, it is valid for 15days. If we request for porting code again (via sms) we get same code, with same validity. In my case, I request for code, but I submitted documents for porting after 13days of my initial request. On the day of submission, I requested for code again, and got same code which was expiring after 2days. I did informed retailer about it, but he had no clue. Eventually I submitted form. Next, documents reached company by 16th (or to the middle guy), and they triggered request for porting on 16th day with same old code. Result: Port out request failed, because porting code was expired! It took me over a week to realize that, and eventually I submitted documents again. I submitted documents on Monday, and on a fine thursday evening I realized that I didn’t got any call or sms that day! Later, I found I was even not able to send any sms. Outgoing calls were going fine via Airtel connection. I got clue, and tried using Tata Docomo sim card, and it worked! All was OK other then fact that I was not able to recieve calls from Airtel users on Tata’s sim. Callers were getting message - “The Airtel number you have dialed is switched off!” At this point of time I realized a big problem - due to some bugs in system, new carrier actually accepted my number, while Airtel has yet not ported out my number. Good was that I started getting calls even from Airtel users within a day. Logically speaking all was going OK, other then fact that my Airtel connection still works for outgoing, and even at the time of blogging (after a month of porting) it’s still up! Tata Docomo customer support has no clue about it while Airtel support always requests me to visit Airtel relationship center to get this fixed. (Why really? Can’t they do this ONLINE?!)
Here’s few points about MNP based on my experience:
- 15 day rule can be problem. As said above - if one submits docs for porting after 13-14days of initial request of port code, there are chances of rejection of request, as it normally takes 2-3 days for request to be registered in system of new operator, and technically initialization of request.
- During middle period there is NO WAY to find the status of porting. I have transfered various domain names from various registrars to others, and it is very good that one can get real time step-by-step status of that. It makes absolutely no sense in implementing MNP in such dark manner.
- Apart from latest online status, I expect there should be clear norms about who is going to provide support to end user during period. Both carriers - Airtel and Tata Tele’s customer support informed me that they don’t have any mechanism of looking into a number’s detail about porting and only way in case of trouble is to visit company office. That’s just crazy! Again, this is not a DSL link problem that one needs to visit central office to get line fixed. Even at those offices there are NO technical persons. They are again company support representatives who sit in front of a terminal. Incase of any technical glitch, they can’t do much other then escalating it to technical team, which goes via few “in-house” engineers, before getting off to external outsourced team of equipment vendors.
- Based on the way it’s going - in Haryana MNP is causing huge subscriber loss to BSNL and Airtel. Gainers are usually Tata Docomo, and Aircel. I think launch of MNP in rest of India will probably get delayed. Reason remains with the incumbent private carriers.
- As of now there are no plans for inter-circle portability i.e you can port number only within a circle, and not out of telecom circle. So if you move from NCR circle to say Bangalore in South India, you can’t port out your number. Why? “Technically very hard to implement” - claimed by one of telecom guys. Reality - telcos love roaming :P
And yes, now I am one of the “3G user” in India! and here’s a quick speed test:
Will be posting my experience with Tata Docomo 3G in other post. Thanks for reading.