Porting Begins Today: Change GSM Network But Retain Your Number

5 Min Read

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) across the networks of GSM operators will be launched today. MNP is a process that allows subscribers to migrate from one network to another, while still retaining their original phone numbers, irrespective of the network the subscriber chooses to migrate to.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been in the front line of this process for GSM operators but the launch of the service today is not extended to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), operators like Visafone and Capcom, which recently bought over Starcomms, Multi-Links and MTS Wireless.

However, NCC has assured the Nigerian subscribers that it will focus its attention to include CDMA operators immediately after today’s launch, to enable CDMA subscribers port their numbers but the move is actively in the pipeline already.

NCC in its released guidelines for MNP, made porting free of charge for subscribers, but insisted that subscribers could port their numbers once every 90 days.

According to the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tony Ojobo, the MNP would lead to quality service and increased healthy competition among operators, in addition to the introduction of value added services by the operators to attract more subscribers to their various networks.

He added that it would compel telecoms operators to be more accountable to subscribers and treat them as kings, which they actually are. It would enhance billing integrity, since operators would not want to lose customers who may be willing to shift to another network if they are not satisfied by the network’s billing system.

It was gathered that some subscribers however, were not satisfied with the setting which stipulates that subscribers are not allowed to port a number more than once in three months (90 days).

“Suppose I migrate to another network in search of better service quality and discover a few weeks later that the network I migrated to has also gone bad, then I will not be able to port to another network or return to my original network because of the 90-day rule,” Olayinka Adesina, an Etisalat subscriber said.   

Globacom’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mohammed Jameel, said the company‘s technical and operational teams had worked assiduously to ensure that the network was in a perfect state of preparedness to facilitate a smooth transition for those who were interested in porting on the Glo network.

“We have put in place a functional number portability gateway (NPG) and we have ensured all-call query signal transport point (STP) system which are major technical requirements for the successful take-off of mobile number portability on any network,” he said.

Corporate Services Executive at MTN, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, said the company had put systems in place to make MNP a reality for mobile phone users in Nigeria eager to join the country’s most expansive network.

“We have made all the necessary investments in infrastructure and manpower to make MNP a reality and we are confident of today’s hitch-free rollout,” said Goodluck. He also revealed that a series of tests had been successfully carried out on the company’s systems and infrastructure and were hitch free.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said his network had been upgraded to accommodate over 25 million subscribers from the first day of the launch.

“We are prepared to port 100 percent of our current 25 million subscribers and we have spent $1.5 billion on the expansion of our network across the federation.“We have equally completed our 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial and have rolled out High Definition (HD) voice in Nigeria,” he said.

Similarly, Etisalat who are the number four entrant into the GSM market in Nigeria, also said it was ready for today’s launch of number portability.

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.