The Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Friday, expressed elation with the response of consumers to its recently introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP), noting that in less than one month of the exercise, thousands of Nigerians have already keyed into it.
The commission disclosed that its introduction of the MNP into the telecoms industry was to create healthy competition among the operators and that it would also go a long way in improving the quality of services currently provided by network operators.
Speaking at the 73rd edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament held in Enugu, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah said consumers of telecoms services should get value for their money, noting that it was the duty of the commission to protect consumers from abuses by the service providers.
Juwah, who spoke through Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, said the NCC had, in line with this, introduced porting as one of such measures, which would to a large extent enhance quality network and force operators to lower their tariff.
“Mobile Number Portability will provide consumers with the option of choosing their network at any time while retaining their number. It will give rise to healthy competition in the industry, enhance quality of service and improve customer service delivery to the consumers.
“It will provide consumers with unfettered choice and remove the trouble of having to move around with multiple cell phones. Mobile Number Portability will eliminate the associated cost of updating business contacts, marketing, notifying family members and associates,” he added.
The NCC boss expressed optimism that porting would considerably bring down tariff charges in view of the competition it would engender among operators, stressing that “it will further expand the market place and make the deployment of new and enhanced telecom services faster and more cost effective.”
To further show how Nigerians had waited for the new initiative, Juwah noted that in the first week of the MNP, over 4,000 Nigerians ported their lines from one network to the other.
On the procedure for porting, he explained that “porting subscribers must register their SIM cards before they can port. Without the registration, the network operators would not be able to identify a porting subscriber or confirm that such is the rightful owner of the number being ported.”
Juwah said that a subscriber must be physically present before the operator would allow the porting process, which would take a maximum of 48 hours.
Most of the parliamentarians, who spoke at the forum, urged the NCC to address the issue of inter-connectivity rate, to make porting meaningful.
The Mobile Number Portability, which took off on April 22, this year, allows a telecoms subscriber to migrate from network to another within a period of 90 days, without losing the original mobile number.