Mobile subscribers choose to switch networks from time to time – and how to port your number from your existing network to another, including Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Cell C, becomes essential knowledge.
Porting your number ensures that you keep the same number even though you have moved to a different mobile network. This means you and your loved ones don’t have to memorise or re-save the number all over again.
This article outlines how to port to the various South African mobile networks. For all the networks, the process is free of charge, with the cost only being a new SIM card and SMS charges.
How to port to Vodacom
To port to Vodacom, you first need to obtain a Vodacom prepaid SIM card that has been registered with RICA. The next step is to SMS Vodacom your new number using your old SIM.
To do this, simply SMS ‘portme’ followed by your new SIM number to 082 767 8287. You will then receive two SMSs – the first will be a confirmation SMS while the second will inform you of the porting date.
The third step is to dial, using your new Vodacom SIM, 136 one day after your port date to activate. Remember, this process applies to prepaid customers. Contract customers usually have to visit a Vodacom store.
How to port to Telkom
To port to Telkom, the first step is to buy a Telkom SIM card and register it with RICA. Next, using your old SIM, SMS ‘PORTME#’ followed by your ID number# and the 20-digit ICCIC number, (found at the back the new SIM card and starts with ‘89…’) to 081 160 7678.
The process will take between 24 and 48 hours, after which you need to insert your new Telkom SIM into your phone. Contract subscribers will however need to visit a Telkom store and fill in an application form.
How to port to MTN
To port to MTN, you first need to purchase an MTN SIM card and RICA it. Next, using your current SIM, SMS ’PORTME#’ followed by your 10-digit MTN SIM number’ to 083 767 8287. An example SMS: PORTME#0000000000.
You will then receive an SMS on your current SIM indicating that the porting process is underway. The last step is to insert your new MTN SIM into your phone the following day and select “new number” to activate it.
According to the MTN website, you will lose airtime and data on your current SIM when you port, so make sure to use them up before porting.
How to port to Cell C
To port to Cell C, you must first buy a Cell C starter pack and RICA the SIM. The second step is to SMS the new SIM serial number to 084 767 8287 using your old SIM.
You will receive two confirmation SMSs on the old SIM. All you need to do now is wait for the old SIM to lose network service. Once it does, insert the new Cell C SIM card into your phone to connect to the network.
For contract subscribers: According to Cell C’s website, any number that is out of the 24-month contract period with your existing network can easily be ported. The process is as follows:
- Advise your current network (within 31 days) of the date you wish to port.
- Advise your Cell C consultant of this date and Cell C will arrange to port the number to your chosen tariff package the night of the date chosen. All product and services will be available to use on the day the number is ported.
Porting to rain network
According to its website, rain does not currently offer number portability, but will alert its customers as soon as it is able to do so.