Biz / Tech

Switching carriers made easier

Zhu Shenshen
Users can now change carriers and retain their numbers with companies not allowed to put any obstacles or unnecessary conditions in their way. 
Zhu Shenshen

Mobile number portability, which allows people to switch carriers without having to change numbers, was made available nationwide on Wednesday.

The 326 Shanghai outlets of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom offer number portability services, according to local regulator the Shanghai Communications Administration.

The switching service had previously been tested at provincial level, with final nationwide tests wrapping up this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

Under some conditions users can’t apply for the service, including in the period of current contracts or loyalty programs and with outstanding bills, officials said.

Users can check the availability of mobile number portability by sending a short message to the carriers’ hotline numbers 10086, 10000 and 10010 or call them directly. If users are qualified for the services, they can get authorization codes to switch carriers.

Carriers are not allowed to set up obstacles or add unnecessary conditions for consumers applying for the service, the ministry said. 

Previously, most people were not able to retain their mobile numbers if they wanted to change carriers. 

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