Thanks, to the telecom revolution in our country due to which we have one of the cheapest tariffs in the world. One might be thinking that making call rate cheaper does not mean we are getting the best services; there are several other factors which we need to consider while going to an operator some of which include good coverage, good customer care, latest technology and last but not least custom tariffs that suit almost everyone.
Till now we might have received numerous numbers of calls from telemarketers luring about their tariff plans but the only reason we could not opt is because we do not want to change our telephone number. But thanks to Government of India for introducing Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by which we can keep our number and can change between service providers.
Here is how one can change service provider without changing number.
At present one can avail this service within the same circle, for example you can change your number from Chennai Airtel to Chennai Aircel, but you cannot change from Chennai Airtel to Delhi Aircel.
To understand better let’s take a hypothetical situation wherein a customer wants to shift from service provider A to service provider B
All he is to do is to send an SMS to 1900 by typing PORT 93********** [PORT (your mobile number)]. After sending he will receive an Unique porting code (UPC) from 1901 which will be of eight digit alpha numeric code and its expiry date in MM/DD/YYYY format (*only operator charges applied for the SMS sent) .
As per the TRAI guidelines the maximum charge that a service provider can charge to port a number is Rs. 19.00
After receiving message he has to visit Service provider B outlet, there is he has to fill a new customer agreement form along with porting details. Also he has to submit one ID proof, address proof, self attested photo and last bill copy from service provider A in case of postpaid connection and in case of prepaid service there would be no balance transfer between the service providers.
Then he will receive a new SIM from service provider B. After processing application service provider B will send SMS to both new and old SIM informing the date of porting
The whole process may take up to seven working days and there will be a “No Service Gap” of two hours (mainly between 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM) after which he has to replace the new SIM with old SIM.
Now he is shifted to new service provider and if he wants to change from this provider as well then he has to wait for 90 days for doing so.
I think MNP is a revolution in itself, one has to understand apart from gaining new customers the crucial point is to maintain that customers. If services are not good there is no point paying for those services.
Till now we were not able to do so by fearing that number will change, but with introduction of MNP the choice is in our hands. I also think that the strategy of service providers will also change from expanding their customer base to maintaining their customer base which will result in increase in quality of service.
|Companies||Customer Service||Coverage Area||Tariffs||VAS||Billing / Recharge||Technology||Vulnerability to lose customer base|
|Airtel||Average (They charge for customer service)||Very Good||Below Average||Average and Expensive||Poor||Average||High|
|Vodafone||Good (Happy to Help)||Average||Good||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Low|
|BSNL / MTNL||Below Average||Very Good||Average||Poor||Average||Poor||Medium|
|Reliance Communications||Good||Very Good||Good||Average||Average||Average||Low|
|Tata Indicom / Docomo||Good (For Docomo)||Good||Good (For Docomo)||Good||Average||Good (First to launch 3G)||Medium|
|Rest Regional Players||Good||Limited||Poor||Poor||Average||Poor||High|
*The above mentioned figures are extracted from personal calculations and does not resemble any actual market figures.