Having been the project manager for the mobile number portability project in Malaysia, I can shed some light on the situation.bobypf wrote:I also wanted to convert my pre-paid starhub green number to a post-paid one. I asked them for this in one of their office but they said "CANNOT". Cannot my ass though, they just don't want to do it. How can you transfer your number to another operator and not to be able to switch to a regular post paid plan within the same operator? This is ridiculous! I'm sure there's only one checkbox in their system they have to click on. But they just don't want. They want you to buy their super expensive iPhones with a plan and to have sex with you for 2 years.
There are three components to number portability. The first is the business system (your phone bill). The second is the cellular system. And the third is commercials and tariffs.
Each operator has their own custom systems. Each operator has different services that must be transferred or retained with a phone number. And each phone company tries to protect its commercial advantage when taking/releasing a phone number.
While prepaid cards behave sort of similarly on the networks (most won't work out of country or don't have data, etc), they are a different animal in the business systems. While the technical difficulties were challenging enough, getting all the telcos to agree on anything was even more difficult.
In the end, a system was designed, and like in Singapore, prepaid numbers are not transferable. It is built into the system, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is prepaid numbers are often transient.
So, they really couldn't do it, "if they wanted to". It's not in the system, and there isn't much commercial incentive to put it in the system.