Mobile phone number portability refers to the process of switching from your current network provider to a different service provider without changing your phone number. Kenyan mobile phone subscribers now have an opportunity to change from their current mobile service providers to a different one while retaining their current mobile phone numbers after the launch of mobile number portability service in the country.

 More than 60 countries worldwide embrace mobile number portability including  South Africa and Egypt from Africa. Mobile phone service providers in the country are expected to deepen competition after the implementation of this service a move that will benefit subscribers. Currently, it is very difficult to change your provider without losing contacts from friends and relatives or business partners; the only option is informing each one of them your new phone number, a process which is very tedious if you have more contacts.

To enjoy various offers and services from different service providers, subscribers had resorted to having multiple Sim cards from different service providers and having several mobile phones to accommodate them which was not cost effective. It is obvious that service providers have their strengths and weaknesses in offering different services i.e. data speeds and voice rates.

Here is the process of using mobile phone number portability service to change your current service provider while retaining your original phone number;
1.      Requirements for mobile phone number portability;
·        First of all, you will need to fill in the mobile number portability form at any retail shop of the service provider you want to switch to.
·        Present your original identification documents i.e. Passport or ID card for verification purposes. Company lines will require an official signed letter from the organization permitting the process.
·        You will be required to pay a porting service fee of Kshs200 after which you will be issued with a new SIM card
·        At this stage, you will continue to enjoy the services of your current mobile service provider until the automated porting process is complete.
·        Ensure that you save your phone contacts before the automated switching process starts, it would be wise to save your SIM contacts on your mobile phone.
·        Clear any current airtime balance and money in your mobile transfer account as well as pay up any borrowed airtime or outstanding bill.

2.      Process of mobile phone number portability service;
·        Using your existing mobile phone number, send a text message with the word PORT or HAMA to 1501
·        You will receive either of the following text messages from PORTING;
                                                               i.            Thank you for your SMS.
                                                             ii.            Your porting request is being processed
                                                            iii.            Your porting request has failed. Please contact your new Operator
After the switching process is complete,
·        You will receive a text message from PORTING within 48hours with the following information;
                                                           i.            This Account will be closed soon.
                                                         ii.            Please use your SIM card from your new Operator.  
                                                        iii.            Porting Error.  Please contact your new Operator

·        You can then replace your current SIM card with the new SIM Card from the new operator and begin enjoying the services of the new mobile service provider.
You can now move/shift/transfer from Safaricom network to Airtel, Orange or Yu and vice versa while retaining your sim card number.