By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. December 13, 2013: Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday announced that the much awaited Mobile Number Portability will commence first quarter of next year.
He made this known during the Telecoms Executives and Regulatory Forum 2012 of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) held yesterday in Lagos.
Mobile Number Portability service makes it possible for subscribers to switch their mobile network service provider without losing their unique number.
According to him, the introduction of Mobile Number portability is expected to spur quality service delivery among telecoms operators and will also offer a platform for evaluation of performance of operators by subscribers.
“This additional choice being created in the industry will spur measures across providers to continually meet the expectations of their subscribers. This will in turn improve the service delivery of the industry and market dynamics will engender a trend towards continual optimal quality of service experience across the industry”, boss of the regulatory agency says.
According to Juwah, following the approval of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) framework, the Commission had developed legal and technical frameworks for its implementation in the country.
He adds that, “these frameworks are at advanced stages of completion with regular inputs from industry via the technical and regulatory working groups formed with membership amongst others from the Nigerian Communications Commission, operators and the Number portability clearing house”.
At the forum, Deolu Ogunbanjo, National President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) asked why the commission postponed its take-off planned for earlier this year.
Juwah responds that the project is highly technical and all stakeholders especially telecoms operators must agree on terms of operations adding that it is better delayed than to be done wrongly.
Johnson Farotimi, Senior Manager, Managed Services, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Ltd, the firm undertaking the technical implementation of the project, notes that number portability is a huge collaborative work that includes telecom operators, NCC and a consultancy firm, KPMG working assiduously to ensure the success of the project.
He adds that Ghana and Kenya are two countries in Africa that have started using NMP citing that while the former is making huge success out of it, Kenya is struggling with the programme.
Farotimi therefore appealed to the public to bear with NCC on the delay noting that it is to ensure that proper things are done.