The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in the latest release has confirmed that Aircel customers who're yet to port out to another network will be given a final chance for making a shift. Subscribers of Aircel who are still on the network can choose either Reliance Jio or Bharti Airtel or Vodafone Idea or BSNL or MTNL by the end of October 2019, post which they won't be able to port out. Trai says that both Aircel and Dishnet Wireless subscribers are given a final chance. To recall, at the start of 2018, Aircel closed down its operations due to intense competition in the market and also its merger with RCom fall apart due to delayed regulatory approvals. In February 2018, Aircel asked Trai to provide additional Unique Porting Codes (UPCs) to its customers, so that they can enjoy services from another operator without having the requirement to change the mobile number.
Aircel Customers Should Port Out by October 31, Says Trai
Aircel used to have around 90 million subscribers at the time of shutting down the services. Over the last few years, Aircel was struggling to cope up with the competition in the industry, but after the commercial launch of Reliance Jio in 2016, the company woes worsened. Similar to Vodafone and Idea Cellular merger, Aircel and Reliance Communications (RCom) announced a merger to bring some stability to the sector. However, both the operators blamed regulators for delaying the merger approvals, which resulted in merger lapse.
As noted, Airtel' subscriber base was over that of BSNL when it closed down the operations. And in Tamil Nadu, it was the leading telecom service provider. The news of Aircel shutdown came as a surprise to the subscribers as they were forced to opt different operator soon after.
Back on February 22, 2018, Aircel approached Trai to provide additional UPCs to its customers. And on February 28, 2018, Trai provided additional codes to Aircel customers. According to the data available, a total of 19 million Aircel customers opted for MNP (Mobile Number Portability) between February 28, 2018, and August 31, 2019.
And today, the sector regulator has issued another statement saying that Aircel customers will be given a final chance to opt for MNP. Aircel and Dishnet Wireless customers in circles Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, North East, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal will have to port out from Aircel by October 31, 2019.
After the said date, UPC assigned, if any, shall become invalid for submission of the porting request, confirmed Trai.
How to Generate UPC for Mobile Number Porting?
When Aircel announced the closure of services, it allowed the subscribers to generate Unique Porting Code (UPC) through its website with which a customer can opt for MNP. However, the website is no longer working and the customers will have to manually generate the UPC.
If you one of the customers with Aircel SIM card, then try latching onto Airtel 2G or 3G network by manually selecting the network service. Right now, if you don't latch onto Airtel network, then the SIM card will not display any network signal, so to generate the UPC, you will have to latch onto Airtel.
Once your mobile phone displays network signal, fire up the Messaging app and send an SMS as PORT (Aircel Mobile Number) to 1900. Wait for a few minutes for the Unique Porting Code to arrive. After receiving the UPC, head over the nearest telecom operator' store (you choice) and get the MNP done. It will take at least one week for the MNP process to finish.