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Mobile Phone Number Portability to Commence Next Year

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC is quickening plans to introduce Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Nigeria, and has appointed firms to operate it. MNP will allow mobile phone users to keep their number, and still receive calls from it, while they have migrated to another network. This is in use in some countries around the world, and has been discussed about being adopted in Nigeria.

Tony Ojobo, the public affairs director with the NCC, confirmed and explained this in an interview with Business Day, he said, “From December of this year, we are going to commence experimenting, which means that we will begin to fine-tune all of the processes, so that when we take off, we don’t have hitches. So we are dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s- checking the connection between networks, and the MNP operator, and also the connection between the MNP and the data centre, where you have all the data of the subscribers captured. The testing is going to take about a month. Then by the first quarter of 2013, the MNP regime will take off. So that is where we are, as at today.”

He continued, “The excitement we have about this is that there is competition in the market already, but we believe that MNP will further deepen the competition. As it is today, the brand loyalty is sort of superficial or forced, because the customers are forced to stick to the networks, even when they do not like them, because of the fear of losing their contacts”.

“How the MNP works, is that in the event that a customer feels dissatisfied with his service provider, he can indicate that he wants to port his number to another network, and within a specified number of days, that is supposed to happen. Then, when he ports to another network, he has 90 days before he can finally move to another network. The implication is that if you are a network provider and you begin to lose customers to another network and that information is in the public domain, what happens is that it is an organisation that possibly has its’ shares quoted in the stock exchange, it can actually affect the price of their shares, to tell you how serious it is.”

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