MegaFon-Moscow: "Easy step" to "Your new number"

Where do new subscribers come from? A certain number - from the growing children, but those are not more than 15%, the main growth of the "population" of the operator occurs due to "migrants" from other networks. This process not only generates deliberately crafty statistics, but also creates a lot of difficulties and inconvenience for the "defectors" themselves. And also pretty annoying to those who have to communicate with these "migrants".

A radical solution to the problem is the MNP (Mobile Number Portability) service, the ability to switch to another operator while maintaining your phone number. It is widely practiced in many countries, and a few years ago it was almost promised by the former head of the Ministry of Information and Communications Leonid Reiman to the Russians. Even preliminary administrative models and schemes of technical implementation were developed, if I am not mistaken, the role of the “all-Russian switchboard” was assigned to MTT. Some time later, the Ministry of Information and Communications stopped commenting on the fate of the project, limiting itself to evasive excuses like “the issue is being worked out”. It became clear that the project was “shelved” (under someone’s pressure?), but it was interesting what official reason would be chosen. One was found: it turns out that during the development of the project, the most important aspect of universal equality and social justice was missed. The law should be the same for everyone, and the transfer of a city telephone number to another operator cannot be technically implemented. So far it's impossible. That's when all the automatic telephone exchanges in the vastness of our vast Motherland become digital, then we will return to the discussion of this issue. And, presumably, we will find another reason. How come it never occurred to anyone to put a speed limit of 20 km/h on the roads because cyclists can't go faster?

Maybe it's for the best? Those who suffer from the inability to carry their number to another operator do not always realize the full consequences of implementing such a scheme. In the era of fees for interconnection, many tariffs take into account the conditional free of charge intranet traffic, plus price special offers for communication within the group / tariff, etc. It would be necessary to completely revise / reshape the entire existing tariff policy and / or pile up complex technical solutions for auto-informing about the price of each call, etc. What about inter-operator settlements? And the inevitable deductions to the "coordinator"? In any case, we are talking about considerable costs that cannot be shifted only to those who wish to switch to another operator while maintaining their own number. Moreover, it is almost impossible to predict the real need for such a service, too much is tied to the price of the issue for the end user. Abstractly, the opportunity to change the operator while maintaining the number can be warmly welcomed by every third person, but in reality? Thousands of commercials for three-five-eight Russian non-denominated service can dramatically lose its appeal in the eyes of most of its current supporters. Recently I already wrote about all this, but questions on the topic “When, finally, will number portability be introduced. » regularly appear on the forums. We will consider it an unscheduled lyrical digression.

Be that as it may, the problem of notifying people about a changed number sooner or later becomes relevant for most of us. I would single out the two most characteristic situations and, accordingly, the "traditional" ways to solve the problem.

  • Switch to another operator with the replacement of the main number. A nice option for callers is to walk with two phones for a while (uncomfortable). Unconditional forwarding from the old number to the new one is more convenient, but expensive. And to tell each caller a new number, hoping that a person will write it down, as experience shows, it is a disastrous thing, only a few write down a new number, and the process stretches for months. And in the case of redirection, those who called the new number and listened once again to the request to call him in the future begin to take offense - after a couple of weeks, you can’t remember who you managed to warn. An answering machine with a dictated new number is more efficient, but making people pay for your convenience is not very nice. Sending SMS messages to the entire address book plus an answering machine on the old number is a traditional compromise.
  • Using different SIM cards for calls to different destinations. It's also pretty typical these days. Annoying a person with a call from an unfamiliar number is unpleasant, explaining to everyone “I’m calling from another number to save money” is doubly unpleasant. And all the same, people will call back (it’s more convenient this way) and go berserk from the constant “Subscriber is temporarily unavailable”. The only conditionally acceptable option is to use Anti-AON, which also causes fair irritation for many.

And what do our dear operators offer to alleviate the difficult fate of "traitors-defectors" and those who like to use different SIM-cards? For those who really transfer from a competitor and change the main number, various kinds of personal rewards are provided. They may offer a temporary discount, a free SMS package, a minutes package, etc. True, not for everyone, but for specific highly profitable clients who responded to a tempting offer. One of the most striking episodes on this topic was the provision of a federal backup in the 925 code to all those who wished to connect to the MegaFon-Moscow contract tariff to owners of direct city numbers of other operators. To facilitate the transition, they give a package of 500 SMS and offer a free (8-800) number with an autoinformer about changing the code. Beeline also exists and advertises the program “The new number is the spitting image of the old one!”, Quote from the news:

“Go to Beeline” and save the numbers of your phone number! Connect at Beeline offices - only here you can choose from 4 to 10 digits of a phone number! Tell us your old phone number or just your favorite numbers, and consultants will select the most suitable options for you.

Of course, you can’t count on a complete match of all the numbers, but some are lucky.

Now about specialized technical solutions. We recently wrote about the Beeline Easy Step service, a quote from the publication:

“The essence of the service is the allocation of a special service number, to which unconditional call forwarding from the “old” SIM card should be set. Each caller to the old number hears an answering machine with a new number. Then the system sends two SMS messages: one to the new Beeline number with information about the caller's phone number to the "old" number, and the second SMS to the caller's phone with the text "My new number is +7903 1234567". The service has no monthly fee and, unlike voice mail, in most cases does not entail financial losses for the caller. When calling from a mobile phone, listening to an answering machine is not charged, although when calling from a landline phone (from an analog PBX), you still have to pay for a minute of the call. Works with all operators and any number of SIM-cards, it is enough to set forwarding on the "old" SIM-cards. Just in case, we remind you that SMS messages in the networks of the Big Three operators are not forwarded and will continue to be sent to the old numbers. An elegant solution that completely solves the problem of notifying the caller about a change in number and / or operator.

As usual, there was a fly in the ointment, which was not immediately noticed in the depths of a barrel of honey. After several days of using the service, several extraneous calls were noted, and one of the callers assured that he called his friend at this number in the spring. It seems that phone numbers of not so long ago closed contracts are used as call forwarding service numbers. It is logical to use the numbers lying in the "sump" for the service, but it would be nice to warn about this in the description of the service.

“Your new number” in MegaFon-Moscow

A similar service was recently put into operation in the MegaFon-Moscow network, a detailed description can be found here. Despite the outward resemblance to the Easy Step service, the scheme is implemented somewhat differently. The main difference is that the general system number +79262909500 is used for forwarding, and the corresponding “old” number (the one from which you are transferring) is programmed from the “new” (or not new) MegaFon-Moscow SIM card.

Next, on the "old" SIM card, we set unconditional forwarding to the system number +79262909500 and stop worrying about missed calls. If they hadn’t forgotten to put “+” before the call forwarding number in the description on the site, otherwise, if the instructions were followed exactly, the caller would hear “The subscriber’s number is temporarily blocked” instead of the new number.

If the connection is correct, the caller will hear the text “The party you called is using a different number. An SMS message with a new subscriber number will be sent to you shortly. The new subscriber number is eight…”. And your phone will receive an SMS with information about who and when tried to call you on the previous number.

There is also a second option for setting up the service, especially for those who do not want to tell everyone their new number in a row. Quote from description:

“When you select the notification method “Notify only me”, callers to your old phone will not recognize your new number. When they call your previous number, they will hear a voice message: “The subscriber turned off the phone or is out of network coverage.” After that, an SMS message will be sent to your new number: “You received a call to the “old number” from Subscriber ”. And you decide whether to tell this subscriber your new phone number or not.

There is a third, "undocumented" option for configuring the service. If the “Your new number” service on the MegaFon-Moscow SIM card is activated and then disabled, while leaving forwarding on the “old” SIM card, the caller will hear the text: “The called subscriber has changed his phone number. Connection to the dialed number is not possible."

Tagged "childhood illnesses" services.

  • I already wrote about the plus sign in the description, which was forgotten in the description before the forwarding number, maybe they will fix it.
  • Connection by USSD command did not work at the time of testing (June 26), only through sending Arts & Entertainment CVs in Nigeria SMS commands.
  • The sent SMS command has been billed. Wrong or not is debatable. Most likely erroneous, but, on the other hand, no one promised free SMS commands, only the free service itself was announced.

Compared to the "Easy Step" service (Beeline), the "Your New Number" service (MegaFon-Moscow) has one big drawback: only one "old" number is set in the system. Those. the service is geared towards the person changing their primary number, rather than using half a dozen different SIM cards to make calls to different destinations. In this sense, the Beeline service looks more flexible and much more versatile. On the other hand, the deliberate absence of "left" calls to the former owner of the "transit" service number is an advantage.

Instead of P.S.

Based on retesting two days later. USSD commands started to work, and the issue of paid/free SMS commands seems to have lost its relevance. For several times now, in MegaFon-Moscow, I have come across a gradual “bringing to mind” the service within a few days after its official launch. The restriction “one old number” can also be bypassed, it is enough to set unconditional forwarding on all used SIM cards to the “old” SIM card programmed in the system. In this configuration, everything works almost well, with the exception of one detail: the "old" number will appear in the SMS notification to the caller.

Example: We have a MegaFon-Moscow SIM card (A) with the main number and a collection of SIM cards from different operators (B, C, D, E…) for calls to different directions. We connect the service on SIM-card "A", set SIM-card "B" with the "old" number. On all other SIM-cards, we set unconditional forwarding to SIM-card "B". Now, when calling to any SIM card (B, C, D, E…), the caller will be dictated by voice to the new number “A” and sent an SMS with the text “Subscriber +79…(“B”) is now using the number +79…( "BUT"). Not ideal, but two main tasks are performed: the caller is informed about our new number for free, and we receive an SMS notification with the phone number of the person who tried to call us on any of the SIM cards “linked” to the “B” number. As required to prove.