Over 100 million mobile phone users in the country can now change from one network to another and still retain their numbers.
NCC has outlined what subscribers should do to effectively utilize the benefits of the system. Mobile Number Portability makes it possible for a subscriber to migrate from one network – may be due to poor services – to another which he/she feels can offer better services, without losing his/her original phone number.
When you request to change your service provider, the recipient provider will issue you a new sim card but you will still retain your phone number.
Processes - Port In: joining a new service provider, Port Out: leaving a service provider, Subscriber : The customer that owns the number to be ported, Recipient: The service provider that a subscriber is changing to, Donor: The service provider a subscriber is changing from.
The porting rules
However, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, noted that subscribers were expected to abide by certain rules to give the system a smooth take off. “The following are very important: As a subscriber, you can port (change) to another operator. However, you will be restricted from porting (changing) your number to a third operator within 90 days of a previous port; you can port your number as many times as you like in a given year. This means there is a 90-day restriction before your next port”, he said.
Expectations from subscribers
Just like it used to happen in SIM swap at the early days of GSM in the country, subscribers may port the numbers of other people for no genuine reasons and to forestall this, Juwah said subscribers would be required to submit certain documents. “To move your number to a new mobile operator, you need to bring proof of identity such as identity card, passport or driving license or an officially-validated photographic identity document. Also, the mobile number you wish to port must be validly registered.”
He also gave hints that subscribers can port their numbers at any customer care office, retail shop or outlet of their chosen new service provider and meet with the authorized sales person to request to port their number.
He also informed the subscribers that porting is not available by telephone, online or other electronic means.
Meanwhile, subscribers wishing to change their operators to a preferred network are expected to terminate service with their existing service provider before initiating porting with the new service provider.
In Nigeria’s model of porting, Juwah said that both post-paid and pre-paid customers will be able to port their numbers but however, added that once the porting process is complete, postpaid customers are required to settle their outstanding bills to their previous service provider including any early termination fees.
He also warned that old service providers are permitted to use any legal measures to recover any outstanding charges from a subscriber.
Meanwhile, in compliance with the directive by NCC that all mobile operators be ready for the commencement as almost all the mobile operators in the country have expressed readiness to fall in line with the MNP from take off.