How to Port from MTN to Telkom

Cellphone number porting is one of those things that’s almost exclusively South African. It allows people in the country to move from one network to another while retaining their mobile numbers. This provides a high degree of flexibility. If one network doesn’t feel right to you, it’s easy enough to move to another without having to worry about changing your number. Porting is easy. At most, you need to walk into the nearest Telkom shop and they will do it for you quickly and easily. You can also do porting from your own mobile phone. So, how do you do it? Well, here is how to port from MTN to Telkom in the year 2020.

Steps to Port to Telkom from MTN

To port from MTN to Telkom, you need to take the following steps;

  1. First you need to buy a new Telkom SIM.
  2. Next, you need to RICA the new SIM.
  3. When that is done, open Messages on the phone that has your old MTN SIM.
  4. Create a new message and write the following; PORTME#youridnumber#iccid
  5. Send this message to 081 160 7678
  6. Wait up to 24 hours for the process to complete. Your old SIM will then become inactive.
  7. Now you will need to put your new Telkom SIM into your phone.
  8. Recharge the Sim and you should be good to go.

Before getting started

Before you start the process of porting your number from MTN to Telkom, there are a couple of things that you are going to need to have in hand;



First, you need to make sure that you have the ICCID for your SIM card as this will be required during the process of porting your number. You can find the ICCID on the back of your SIM. It has 20 numbers and usually begins with the number 89.

Your ID Card Number

You are also going to need your ID card number during the process of porting from MTN to Telkom. So, make sure that you have that in hand. Remember that all networks are required to know who their customers are, hence the ID is required.

How long will I have to wait?

The process of porting your number to another network does not happen instantaneously. Usually, it can take up to 24 hours before the process completes.

Do I keep my SIM when I port from MTN to Telkom?

No, you don’t keep your SIM when you port from one network to another. So, when you port from MTN to Telkom, you are still going to have to buy a Telkom SIM. In fact, it’s the first thing that you need to do because you will need the ICCID for the process to complete. However, the great thing is that you get to keep your number. The same applies when you are moving from Cell C to Telkom.

Why is porting important?

The appeal, when it comes to number porting, is self evident. Being able to move from one network to another while keeping your number is great because it doesn’t disrupt your life. You don’t have to run around telling people that you have a new number. And people across South Africa benefit in terms of competition. Each of the mobile network operators in the country knows that if they don’t provide the best service at affordable rates, people will simply walk out.

Note: Some people have been reporting that they have been failing to port to Telkom from their phones. Should this happen to you, then you should simply walk into the nearest Telkom shop so they can do the entire process for you there. That’s actually the best because you will be able to get your replacement SIM at the same time.

10 thoughts on “How to Port from MTN to Telkom”

  1. I went to my nearest shop on Monday 26/10/2020 to port from Mtn to telkom they told me around 20:00pm my old mtn will be inactive but until today its still active. Whats the problem??

    1. Porting can take up to 3 days, according to Telkom. So you are still within that period. If nothing happens by the 30th, you will probably be better off going back to the Telkom shop to get the issue sorted out.

    1. Hey. You need to first buy the Telkom SIM. Don’t know if you already have that one. If you have one, you don’t need to go to a Telkom shop. Once you have the SIM, simply follow the instructions given in this article. But you will have to wait up to 24 hours before a port request is approved. So, this is not something to do if you are in a hurry.

    1. To port, you need to buy a Telkom SIM. Next, RICA that SIM. Then follow the instructions given in this article or do the porting in your nearest Telkom shop. It’s the easiest. Tell them while buying your SIM that you wish to port and they will do it for you.

  2. Hello, I am trying to port from mtn to telkom via sms.
    The reply is: PortInBySMS service is temporarily suspended. please use alternative channels.
    Please can somebody assist & what are the other channels?

        1. Yeah. That’s a problem. Did sending a message PORTME#IdNumber#ICCID fail? If yes, then there is really little that can be done other than to try and locate a nearby store.

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