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What is MNP? Features Implementation Operation Pros & Cons

Number portability enables an end user to switch between services,

locations, or operators while retaining the original mobile number, without compromising on quality, reliability, services and operational convenience.

An end user can retain his existing number even if he switches from one Mobile Service Provider to another mobile service provider.

On 25th Nov 2010, MNP has been implemented in Haryana as a pilot LSA to

observe implication of MNP on voice as well as non voice calls.

Finally, 20th January 2011, MNP has been implemented across the India. Two central clearing houses for MNP database covering North-West zone

(Syniverse) and South-East zone (Telecordia).

MNP is restricted only for intra circle operators. MNP is allowed between CDMA and GSM operators.

Terms used in number portability

Donor Network
Originating Recipient Network


Originating Network Donor Network

: Network of the calling party. : Previous subscription of Called party.

Recipient Network

: Present subscription of Called party.

There are three basic feature of Mobile number portability:

Operator Portability

It is the ability of end user to retain their existing directory number (DN) at the
same location when changing from one service provider to another. It allows individual DNs to be moved to a different switch, enabled with the concept of

location routing number (LRN). Under the standard, each switch that host
portable number is assigned a 10-digit LRN that used to route calls to a specified switch.

Location Portability

It is the ability of end users to retain their existing DNs without impairment of quality, reliability or convenience when moving from one physical geographical location to another.

Service Portability

It is the ability of end users to retain their existing DNs when switching
from one service provider to another, provided by the same telecommunication carrier. The requirements of Service Portability is still

undefined by DOT.

There are few basic concepts required to deploy Mobile Number Portability.

Service Order Administration

Number Portability Administration Center. Local Service Management System.

Service Control Point. Signal Transfer Point.

Service Switching Point/Mobile Switch Center.


It acts as an interface between service providers order and Number

Portability Administration Center(NPAC).

Its primary functions are data transfer to the NPAC, subscription tracking,
logging, error reporting and alarm functions.

Depending upon the requirements of the service providers, the SOA may

interface with multiple NPACs to allow number portability.


NPAC is a third party, neutral database administration function that supports

number portability.

The database is designed to receive information from both previous and new service providers, validate the information and download the new routing information when a customer has been physically connected to the new

service providers network.

Maintains table that contains Portable numbers with the new service providers ID, the LRN of the new switch, routing data, and a history file of

all transactions relating to the porting of each number.


It contains database with routing information to ported telephone numbers.

The primary functions are network management, service provider data management, error processing and notification and security.

LSMS is expected to mirror NPAC ported routing information and has the

functionality to request updates from the NPAC in a variety of ways to

ensure database synchronization.

Service Control Point

It provides interface services between the Local Service management system and Signal transfer point.


It acts as a network message router.

It receives the LRN query from the SSP/MSC, routes it to the appropriate NPDB, and returns a response to the originating SSP/MSC.

Service Switching Point /

Mobile Switch Center

The SSP is owned and operated by the Mobile service providers. The Switch points must be able to generate a LRN query to the STP, when ever it is placed in a ported domain.


A Query is generated on all call that has been designated as portable in the

local exchange routing guide and NPAC and marked in the switch routing table.


There are two methods available for routing calls in a mobile number

portability environment: Direct Routing / All Call Query.

Independent Routing.
Onward Routing.

Call Drop Back.

Query On Release.


Onward Routing: The donor network identifies the correct terminating mobile network and

routes the call onward to that network .

Call Drop Back: The Donor network after confirming that the number is ported, releases the call back to the originating network together with information identifying

the correct terminating network .

Query On Release : The Donor network after confirming that the number is ported, returns a message to the originating network indicating that the number has moved.

The originating network then queries a database to obtain information

identifying the correct terminating network.

Originating Network NPAC










Originating network will


query its NPAC

NPAC will acknowledge





the query by adding a

prefix (LRN) to the SSP / MSC.


Based on the prefix (LRN) the Originating network will route the call to the recipient network without involving the Donor network.

All Call Query is called as direct routing as donor network will not be
included during entire call flow.

The Direct routing solution / All Call Query is perceived as a long-term solution for number portability whereas Independent Routing solution was

adopted initially when the estimated number of porting's are less.

Direct Routing is considered as more optimized with more efficient call routing.

National Number Portability Clearing House is a Centralized message

processing system, a regulatory body under the control of Department of

Telecom (DOT) through which service providers communicate using the same set of rules for handling porting requests and exchanging

information required for porting numbers.

This centralized clearing house will be managed by DOT to avoid conflict of interest.

The National Number Portability Database will have the mobile numbers

of all mobile users through out India.

All mobile service providers will then link their networks with that of the MCHAs(Mobile Number Portability Clearing House Administrator) and

NNPDB(National Number Portability Database).


National Number Portability Clearing House a regulatory body

responsible for managing port-in/out numbers across the operators in India.

It maintains a database with Port-In/Out information across the country /


This database is pushed / pulled into Reference Database also called

Routing Database which will assist Mobile Switching Center (MSC) to

direct each call to their respective telecom operator (servicing that number).



End User contacts new operators and asks his number to be ported New operator submits number port request to clearing house

New operator will charge Rs. 19/- for porting .

The clearing house informs the old operator Clearing house informs all operators that the number is ported National Number Portability Database will have all mobile numbers.

Once porting is complete ,the user will get a conformation SMS from the
new subscriber.


Send an SMS to 1900 in following format: PORT Your Mobile Numbere.g.. PORT 9999999999. (SMS PORT <space> <10 digit mobile number which you wish to port> to 1900.)

You will get a 8 digit unique porting code (UPC) instantly as a SMS. Send this SMS to operator you want to migrate to quoting the unique code.
This code is valid only for a few days, and have to be applied again if it expires.


Your new operator will check with your existing operator & if there are no

dues then approval will be given for porting.

You will get a SMS with the time and date when porting will take place. Rules mandate that process be completed within 7 days of applying.

After porting is complete, wait for the SMS from your new operator

confirming the switch. Your phone may be dead for few hours when the
porting takes place.


Customer side:
It will not only allow users to retain number while changing operators, but also to retain number while switching over from CDMA to GSM in the
same or other Service provider or Vice Versa. Better QOS, more features and services, better tariff plans for customers.

Introduces competition in saturated markets.

Results in more effective use of numbering resources. A win-win situation for a customer. No cost incurred to notify the new contact details to the others ( friends,

family, business..)


Operator side:
Healthy competition prevails in the market between the operators and an

opportunity to explore more services/features.

Operator with best QOS will gain more users. Introduction of innovative services. This would make the entire system very interesting and competitive wherein performance would be the key


When the portable mobile number is surrendered, the mobile number is again returned back to the donor operator.


An end user loses all the special services and facilities offered by the

previous or old service provider.

By availing the MNP facility, your mobile phone number loses its specific identity associated with a particular operator.

MNP would affect the revenue sharing pattern between operators.

Loss of brand name.