USSD – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data

USSD – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data


Term used in Cellular / Mobile
Service ,is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers.


USSD can be used for prepaid main balance check,data balance
check, wap browsing , prepaid callback service , mobile-money services , location based
content services , menu-based information services , and as part of configuring the phone on the network.

USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters in length.

Unlike SMS service messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection during a USSD session.

The connection remains open, allowing a two-way exchange of a sequence of data. This makes USSD more responsive than services that use SMS.

Example of USSD command –


To check main balance in Idea is *212# and in

Airtel it is *123#

By dialing this command you will get the message from server for main balance left in your prepaid sim account.Same process are followed to check Internet Data
Balance Check .






BSNL Penta TPad -Cheap Android –

BSNL Penta TPad
Price: Rs.3250


The Penta TPAD supports a 7 inch
resistive touch screen with a resolution of 800 X 600 pixels. The tablet is powered by a 1GHz processor and backed by 256 MB of RAM. The tablet boasts of 2 GB of internal memory. It also comes with a slot for a microSD card that allows the user to expand the memory up to 32 GB.
The tablet functions on Android 2.3
Gingerbread operating system.
The tablet comes with a 0.3 mega pixel front facing camera that allows the users to make video calls.


With the price tag of Rs.3,250 this is one the cheapest Android
based tablets. The tablet functions on a 3000mAh Li-Ion battery which promises the user with u p to 5 hours of battery backup.



BSNL is an erstwhile govt department converted to PSU, now competing in open market with Private and Transnational Telecom Companies.

The significant  competitive differentiation in service sector is “Service” itself.


The most important part of ‘service’ in this sector is grievance redressal. It is unfortunate – that BSNL subscribers face many problems relating to redressal of their grievances.

Moreover BSNL itself does not publicise the different channels of getting the problem redressed.

Please note the following link:


Here BSNL subscribers can record their
problems online.
One is given the
complaint number. The response time may depend from area to area.

In general – if one is in the paper mode – usually one has to give a written complaint to the nearest Customer Service Center (called “CSC”) and then wait for the complaint to be redressed. If the problem is more pressing, one can visit the SDE (Internal) or the SDE (External) depending on the nature of problem.
Internal looks after the Telephone Exchange, while External relates to any technical work that is outside the exchange – ie from Exchange
to the subscriber end.

Usually in a large place there can be two / three exchanges –consequently there can be an SDE for each such exchange. One has to know to which exchange one’s phone is linked.

Higher up in the hierarchy is DE / AGM with the same suffix. Any problem should get resolved at this level – as this is the highest
executive level.

Over this all are administrative levels – whether DGM / GM etc. and they are not usually concerned with the day to day executive problems.


However if the problems do not get resolved upto DE level,
then one can approach the concerned DGM / GM directly.




Battle of Waves !

The Communications and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, during Nov. 25 said that Mobile Number Portability will be launched in the entire country on January 20, 2011.
The service, which allows subscribers to retain their phone numbers while changing their operator, was launched at Rohtak, Haryana, on Thursday by the Minister.
Mr R. Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Telecom, said that MNP will intensify the competition among service providers both in respect of quantity of services and quality of service as well as in terms of tariff.
Mobile operators said that they are working with the DoT to put the system in place over the next 2 months. [[]]
Battle of Waves & frequencies !

The Number of Unhappy Mobile Service users now crossed 129.85 lakh in India by end of June 2011.
According to the data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), once again Gujarat has ranked number one in the country in terms of requests made for Mobile Number Portability (MNP), with 12.98 lakh subscribers opting for the facility from the state.

IDEA Cellular, the leading mobile service operator is emerging as the No. 1 operator of choice for mobile subscribers in terms of Mobile Number Portability (MNP).
As per the latest data available, IDEA Cellular leads with a huge margin, adding 1,993,684 new customers through MNP, resulting in a net gain of 859,798 in as on July 7th, 2011.
IDEA retains No. 1 position with further improving net gain lead of 99,888 subscribers over Vodafone Essar and 189,861 over Airtel.
IDEA Cellular is leading on net gains in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa. While in Kerala, UP (West), North East, Kolkata, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab circles it has 2nd position

Mobile Number Portability allows swithcing between mobile phone operators without changing the mobile number. Sounds simple, but there are loads of tasks performed behind the scene at the operator end.
Few terms used:
SIM (Subscriber Identity Module):
Securely stores IMSI number used to identify a mobile device.
IMSI (International mobile subscriber Identity):
A 14-digit number that uniquely identifies for your sim card in entire world. It is used for routing calls to the user.
MSISDN (Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network):
Identifies the SIM card inserted in to the mobile phone
MSISDN is mapped against the IMSI and the map is known by the SIM issuing network operator.
ICC-ID (Integrated Circuit Card ID):
Every SIM is internationally identified by an unique ICC-ID. It is a 19-digit number printed behind the sim.
When you lose your SIM the operator demaps the MSISDN off the lost SIM’s IMSI and maps it against a new IMSI.  But the same thing can’t be done for number portability as IMSI and MSISDN are network dependent and cross-mapping is not allowed.
When you port your number:
The new operator selects an unregistered MSISDN with its own network code.
This information is stored on MNP server along with new IMSI and ICC-ID.
This database is accessible by all networks.
On dialling a number, operator from which call originates queries the MNP server (centralized database) to get routing information for the call.  The call is then completed with the new routing information.

The call routing can be illustrated as below:

Call Routing

For a number ported from mobile operator B to operator C.
If user from operator A calls, operator A seeks the routing information from MNP server.
If information is received, the call is routed according to new information, If no information is received, the call is routed as per the routing information of original operator.

Technical Details from:

MNP 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 provider (Recipient) who will then arrange necessary process with the old provider (Donor). This is also known as ‘Recipient-Led’ porting. UK did not implement a Recipient-Led system, where a customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the Donor to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) which he/she then has to give to the Recipient. Once having received the PAC the Recipient continues the port process by contacting the Donor. This form of porting is also known as ‘Donor-Led’ and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient. 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. This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.
In India, MNP is launched recently which is Donor Led. Only the terminology is changed from PAC to UPC (Unique Porting Code).
A significant technical aspect of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) is related to the routing of calls or mobile messages (SMS, MMS) to a number once it has been ported. There are various flavours of call routing implementation across the globe but the international and European best practice is via the use of a central database (CDB) of ported numbers. Network operator makes copies of CDB and queries it to find out which network to send a call to. This is also known as All Call Query (ACQ) and is highly efficient and scalable. Majority of the established and upcoming MNP systems across the world are based on this ACQ/CDB method of call routing. One of the very few countries to not use ACQ/CDB is the UK where calls to a number once it has been ported are still routed via the Donor network. This is also known as ‘Indirect Routing’ and is highly inefficient as it is wasteful of transmission and switching capacity. Because of its Donor dependent nature, Indirect Routing also means that if the Donor network develops a fault or goes out of business, the customers who have ported out of that network will lose incoming calls to their numbers. The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of the UK MNP process on 29 November 2007 and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than 1 September 2009[dated info],
Prior to March 2008 it took a minimum of 5 working days to port a number in the UK compared to 2 hours only in USA, as low as 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland, 3 minutes in Australia and even a matter of seconds in New Zealand. On 17 July 2007, Ofcom released its conclusions from the review of UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days with effect from 1 April 2008. On 29 November 2007, Ofcom completed its consultation on further reduction to porting time to 2 hours along with recipient led porting and mandated that near-instant (no more than 2 hours) recipient led porting be implemented by no later than 1 September 2009.
In a decentralised model of MNP, a FNR (Flexible Number Register) may be used to manage a database of ported out/ported in numbers for call routing
In India as MNP is recently launched, number porting process takes 7 days as of now. Customers are facing problems in getting portability to work as envisaged. The donor network is wary of letting customers go and find improper number of reasons to reject portability requests. The customer keeps getting calls asking them not to switch and even after refusing some of the tempting offers made, the portability does not get done timely

changing the wave length !

Number Lookup Services

Service providers and carriers who route messages and voice calls to MNP-enabled countries might use HLR query services to find out the correct network of a mobile phone number. A number of such services exist, which query the operator’s home location register (HLR) over the SS7 signalling network in order to determine the current network of a specified mobile phone number prior to attempted routing of messaging or voice traffic.

Customer guide for availing the facility of Mobile Number Portability

Request for porting


Contact the new mobile service provider to whom you want to port your

mobile number.

II. Obtain Customer Acquisition Form (CAF) & Porting Form.

III. Read the eligibility, probable reasons for porting rejection and other

conditions carefully.


If eligible, fill up the CAF and Porting Form. For filling up of porting form

you need a ‘Unique Porting Code’ (UPC)


To obtain UPC send SMS from the mobile number you want to port to

the number ‘1900’ with text ‘PORT’ followed by space followed by your

10 digit mobile number you want to port. [ As pre-paid SMS is not

permitted, in Jammu & Kashmir the subscriber has to dial ‘1900’ to get

an UPC, the operator at ‘1900’ provide the UPC after verifying

subscriber number with CLI. ]


It may be noted that you will receive an auto generated 8 digits UPC

from the Donor operator. The first two characters of the UPC consists of

‘Alphabets’ and remaining 6 digits will be numerical characters except

zero. The UPC is valid for 15 days (30 days in case of J&K, NE &

Assam Service Areas).


Submit the duly filled Porting Form and CAF along with requisite

documentary proof to the mobile service provider.

VIII. If you are a post paid subscriber, submit a paid copy of the last bill

issued along with Porting Form and CAF.

IX. Obtain new SIM card from the new service provider

X. Service provider may charge porting charge maximum upto j 19/-

You can withdraw your porting request within 24 hrs of applying.

However, the porting charge is non-refundable.

Activation of ported number:


Your new mobile service provider will intimate you the date & time of

porting on your mobile phone.


Change over takes place on the 7th working day (15th working day in

case of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas).

XIII. The service disruption time shall be around 2 hrs during night time of

the date/time of porting.

XIV. Replace the old SIM with the new SIM provided by your new mobile

service provider after the specified date and time.

Eligibility and Other Conditions

You are allowed to move to another mobile service provider only after 90

days of the date of activation of your mobile connection or from the date

of last porting of your mobile number, which ever is applicable.

You are allowed to change mobile service provider within the same

service area only.

If you are a postpaid subscriber, please ensure that you have paid all

the dues as per your last bill (You will have to sign an undertaking in the

Porting Form also).

If you are a Pre-paid subscriber, please note that the balance amount of

talk time, if any, at the time of porting will lapse.

Detailed regulations are accessible in TRAI website

If you are worry about high cost of vodafone call tariff and change your mobile operator to IDEA mobile then you can change your operator in Rs. 19/- only. ;

Just go to SMS and type PORT and your 10 digit number and send it 1900.
For example if your Airtel number is 9911223344 and you want to change your mobile operator without change your number then go to write message and type PORT 9911223344 and send it to 1900.

After that you will be get a MNP number.
Then go to your nearest mobile sim retailer and show him MNP number and ask a new IDEA sim. You have to pay Rs. 19/- for new IDEA sim.
You also need your identity proof for new sim card.
Within 7 days your mobile operator will be changed to IDEA.
After that you can enjoy new tariff plan of IDEA without change your vodafone number.
This facility is not only for change vodafone to IDEA operator but also the same procedure is useful to change any mobile operator to any other mobile operator.

Here is a list of some of the pop­u­lar oper­a­tors and their toll free num­ber so that you can eas­ily change your carrier.

AIRTEL — 1800 103 1111
VODAFONE — 1800 1234567
TATA DOCOMO– 1800–266-0000
IDEA — 1800–270-0000
BSNL — 1800–180-1503
AIRCEL– 98020 98020 (HL)
MTNL (Delhi)- 1800–11-1503
MTNL (Mum­bai)- 1800–22-1503