Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology will formally flag off the take of mobile number portability that will enable Nigeria’s teeming mobile telephony users retain their unique number when they switch network service providers.
The government has said that Nigeria’s teaming family of phone users numbering over 114 million active connections at the end of January this year will not incur charges for switching service providers according to guidelines issued by the industry umpire.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says that the number porting scheme is being introduced to drive competition in the telecom market and widen the choices open to phone subscribers.
Market watchers view mobile number porting with cautious optimism in a market counting 114,492,384 active connections at the end of January this year, according to official statistics from the industry regulator.
Out of this, GSM networks accounted for 111,195,207 lines; mobile CDMA networks, 2,890,955 lines and fixed wired/wireless, 406,222 lines. Mobile number porting will allow only mobile phone users and not fixed lines to switch their service providers in the first phase.
Mobile phone companies including MTN Nigeria, the biggest by subscriber number and Globacom have said their internal processes and networks are ready to offer number porting services, announcements underscoring expectations that subscribers will migrate to their networks.
Commenting on the initiative, Tony Ojobo say that the telecoms regulator introduced mobile number portability to give choice to subscribers and further stimulate competition among telecoms companies in Nigeria.
According to him, mobile number porting is one of the measures being adopted by NCC to address quality of service issues by allowing phone users to migrate to service providers of their choice.
The Minister is expected to formally flag of mobile number porting at an event billed to hold Monday April 22, this year at The MUSON Centre in Onikan, Lagos.