Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is a service that allows you to switch over to another mobile service provider while retaining your existing mobile phone number.
Mobile number portability is implemented in different ways across the globe. The International and European standard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new network (recipient), which then sends the number portability request (NPR) to the current network (donor). This is known as “recipient-led” porting. The UK and India are the only exceptions to implement the donor-led system. The customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the donor to obtain a code (Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) in the UK and Unique Porting Code (UPC) in India) which is then given to the recipient network. The recipient continues the porting process by contacting the donor with porting code. This form of porting is known as “donor-led” and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient, though prevents MNP scams. It has also been observed that it may act as a customer deterrent as well as allowing the donor an opportunity of “winning back” the customer.
South Korea introduced MNP more than 10 years ago, in 2004.
To know if your country has the MNP implemented, the easiest way to check is ask your mobile providers. MNP gives mobile carriers a good opportunity to lurk in more customers, as retaining one’s mobile number while switching to a better option of service is indeed very attractive.
Here are some of the websites you may use to know about different countries’ policies on MNP: