Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Mobile Number Portability Launched Across Nigeria’s GSM Networks.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Monday launched Mobile Number Portability (MNP) across Nigeria’s GSM networks, enabling customers change their subscription to other mobile networks while retaining their mobile digits.

The MNP system makes it easy for telecom subscribers to migrate across networks in search of quality service without the fear of losing their mobile number, thereby driving competition, improved services and reduced tariff.

NCC in its released guidelines for MNP, made migration free of charge for subscribers but insisted that subscribers could only change networks once every 90 days.

An MTN subscriber who pleaded anonymity, said: “The limit imposed on the frequency of migration defeats the purpose of the MNP.”

She explained that a subscriber that moves to a poorer network has no option of migrating back to the previous network for a long time, meaning the poorer network(s) also gets to keep customers for a long time.

According to report, all four GSM operators in Nigeria said they were prepared for the portability launch.

The NCC has said it would extend the portability service to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), operators in the country, which include Visafone and Capcom, a merger of Starcomms, Multi-Links and MTS Wireless.

In 2001, the launch of GSM operators in the Nigerian market saw tariff per minute rise as high as 60 naira (38 cents). Overtime, with improved competition and 4 GSM operators – MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel – tariffs per minute have plunged as low as 15 naira (10 cents).

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