Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Nigeria Threatened with Stringent Service Conditions

     Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is currently affected by its nationwide acceptability, as subscribers continue to express discord over what they described as strict conditions of the service. The MNP, which is widely practiced world over by telecoms operators, allows subscribers to switch their mobile telephone numbers from one network to another, while still retaining the original number, irrespective of the network they switched to. The service was launched in Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on April 22, 2013, but not without some strings attached to it, a situation that forced most subscribers to voice out the difficult experiences they encountered while attempting to port their numbers to another network of choice. investigation shows that Nigerians were not excited about the service, and they have attributed to slow response in porting, to the conditions attached to the service offering. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “I have two mobile phones with three SIM cards from three different networks but I am not excited at porting to any network because of the conditions attached to the service,” said John Adekunle, a subscriber to Globacom, MTN and Etisalat. Another subscriber, David Ajasin said “I will not be patient to wait for too long a period of time on a particular network whose service is bad, just because I have ported to that network.” Although the conditions attached to MNP seem right and standardised to the telecoms regulatory authority and the service providers, but those that the service is meant for, have complained bitterly over the attached conditions and they want it repealed. Some of the conditions include the 90 days period that subscribers must observe before porting, after an initial porting; the 48 hours window period before porting is completed; the loss of data and airtime that were already captured in the subscribers’ SIM cards as at the point of porting; the physical presence of the subscriber at the office of the network provider of choice, to give details of personal profile before porting request is accepted; among others. For the 90 days period, subscribers are worried that they would be compelled to remain on a particular network for too long if the network service suddenly goes bad, few weeks after they must have ported. They are also worried that the 48 hours period for a successful porting is unnecessarily too long for their liking and that it was strenuous for them to leave their busy schedule in order to present self at the office of a service provider, just for identity purpose, when the service provider already had their details that were captured during SIM card registration. Responding to subscribers’ reactions, Corporate Services Executive at MTN, Mr. Wale Goodluck encouraged subscribers not to be deterred by the attached strings. He blamed the challenges of MNP on multi-SIM phones in the market, but was optimistic that the scheme would experience boom in a short while. The Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, Mr. Steven Evans, said that MNP was important for a competitive market and that subscribers should not see the attached conditions as a barrier to porting. “Telecoms operators in Nigeria are observing best practice in MNP as practised in developed countries of the world, and the attached conditions are to help maintain the integrity of the networks,”

    Facebook Comments