Nidhi Singal, assistant editor, Business Today
Goodbyes are painful. Whether you are bidding adieu to your loved ones, your city, the house you had spent your childhood in, or even your mobile number.
Today, smartphones are not just a device to answer calls, but are also the gateway to a host of services, such as banking, bill payments and much more. Therefore, changing your mobile number can drive you nuts.
It is a tedious process to share and update your new number with each and every service provider you are registered with - banks, your favourite restaurants, shopping websites, electricity bill, the list is endless. Continuing with the same number in a different city would result in inflated bills due to roaming charges. Come May 3, 2015, all this set to change for the better.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has made it possible for you to retain your existing number, irrespective of the city you move to across the country.
Mobile Number Portability was first introduced in 2010, allowing users to switch operators while retaining the same number within the same city.
Now, the introduction of full MNP would allow you to retain the same number even when you move to a different city or state. It is an added advantage for those who have to relocate following a change in jobs.
But hopefully, the experience of using full MNP won't be as bitter as it was with MNP when it was introduced a couple of years ago. Even after four years, switching a postpaid number with a new carrier remains a pain.
While one has to send a text message to obtain a porting number for a fee of Rs 19, it is the carriers, or service providers, who create problems.
The porting process takes close to five working days and, during this period, the unbilled charges have be to cleared before the porting process is complete. This is a menace that often makes life difficult for customers.
Fortunately, Trai has issued recommendations for the operators to ease the process for full MNP. The regulator hopes that this time it would work out smoothly, and customers will be the king.