NCC justifies introduction of Mobile Number Portability
The response from consumers on its recently introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been quite impressive, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, has said.
According to Juwah, in less than one month of the exercise, many Nigerians have ported their lines.
He spoke at the 73rd edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament in Enugu.
The Executive Vice Chairman said the introduction of MNP in the telecoms industry, which was aimed at creating healthy competition among the operators, would go a long way in improving the quality of services currently provided by network providers.
He said that telecoms services subscribers were desirous of getting value for their money, noting that it was the duty of the commission to protect them from abuses by the service providers.
Juwah, who was represented by NCC commissioner, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, said the commission 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.
He said, '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 many cell phones. MNP will eliminate the associated cost of updating business contacts, marketing, notifying family members and associates.'
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 telecoms 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 introduction 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 equally disclosed 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 MNP which commenced on April 22, allows a telecoms subscriber to migrate from one network to another within a period of 90 days without losing the original mobile number.