Use Robots for Number Porting – A Telebots Approach to MNP

March 1, 2017

Mobile Number Portability is a facility which allows subscribers to retain their phone numbers even after switching operator, services, or location.

MNP implementation started in late 1990s from mature European markets like The Netherlands and UK. The objective was to facilitate competition amongst operators on other networks. Now it has been embraced by more than 70 countries.

The major benefits of number portability are lifelong ownership of the number, increased competition resulting in better services and efficient number planning & administration. But all these come at a cost to operator with minimal impact on customer – setup cost, maintenance cost, and call routing cost.

Different Types of Number Portability

All Call Query, The Mechanism of Mobile Number Portability

All Call Query is the most widely used mechanism of MNP and is the most efficient method for large interconnected networks. It’s a direct routing scheme which makes use of a centralized number portability database (CNPDB).

The originating network directly queries the central ported database to determine the routing number and directs the call to recipient operator. In the recipient network, the call is forwarded to GMSC of recipient network, which trunks it to the mobile switching center.

The donor network is not involved in the process thus making it most resource-efficient.

The efficiency of the process is highlighted by the fact that the donor operator is nowhere involved in the entire scenario.

Challenges in Implementing MNP and RPA-Based Solutions

The major challenges while implementing RPA are as follows.

  1. Multiple customer portals: Downloading order from multiple customer portals is one of the biggest challenges in MNP. This usually makes the process more cumbersome and complex.
  2. High manual intervention: The process is highly manual because of various sub processes like validation of account number and account telephone number, searching and verifying portable area, order creation in legacy systems, etc. This makes the process prone to errors and also reduces efficiency.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a natural solution as it can:

  1. Fetch orders from multiple portals
  2. Search and aggregate data from various web and Citrix-based applications
  3. Automate order entry in legacy applications

Benefits & Key Takeaways

  1. At least 9 out of 10 escalation requests are due to manual entry errors. RPA-based automation provides major cost savings by avoiding rework and penalties.
  2. MNP has increased competition in the telecom market. This benefits consumers with better rates, increased range of services, and improved service quality.
  3. Strict and short deadlines imposed by regulatory bodies on CSPs for number portability requires machinery which can complete the task quickly and correctly at the first try. RPA is the natural solution, with 95% first touch resolution and 60-70% time reduction.


Ananth Paramasivam, Manager – Robotic Process Automation, Telecom Business Process Services
Sasikumar B, Sr. Manager, BPS
Vijayakumar MR, Application Support Analyst, BPS
Sarvagya Nayak, Business Analyst, Insights

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