NCC begins mobile number portability schemeRegulator of the telecoms sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday in Lagos kicked off the implementation of the mobile number portability (MNP) scheme, saying the development will give subscribers freedom to choose which service provider to use.
Speaking yesterday at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Dr Eugen Juwah, said it is in furtherance of the commission’s vision of providing not only access to telecoms services to Nigerians at affordable cost, but also to continue to provide the required stimulus and appropriate environment for the introduction of innovative services that will impact on quality of telecoms service delivery.
The NCC also said that ongoing national registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card that kicked off in the country on February 28, 2011 will end soon.
“SIM card registration will come to an end very soon. We are collating data from the operators (and the agents commissioned by the NCC),” the EVC said, adding that data submitted to the commission by the operators and the agents it commissioned to carry out the exercise is being collated by the NCC.
According to Juwah, MNP has been identified as one such services that could further deepen the competition in the telecoms market, adding that with the growing reliance and dependency on mobile communications for everyday socio-economic interactions.
“The vision of the commission is not only to provide access to telecom services to Nigerians at affordable cost but to also to continue to provide the required stimulus and appropriate environment for the introduction of innovative services that will impact on quality telecoms service delivery.
“Our mobile subscriber numbers have become our identity and in most cases, we are required to provide our mobile (telephone) numbers while filling out forms in opening bank accounts, making hotel and airline bookings.
“With the launch of MNP today, consumers of telecommunications services will no longer need to acquire new numbers in order to move from one network service provider to another. They will simply take along their existing numbers along with them to any network of their choice. The power and freedom of choice will, henceforth, rest with the consumer. If a consumer is dissatisfied with the quality of services being provided by a service provider, s/he can simply port out of that network to any network of his/her choice without losing his/her subscriber number,” Juwah said.
According to Juwah, with the launch of MNP, there will be no need for customers to engage in the usually painful exercise of trying to commit phone numbers to memory, neither will they need to frequently change complimentary cards, billboards, letter-heads and other corporate documents.
He added that MNP will revolutionise the way calls are being routed since the National Destination Codes (NDC), that is, the network prefix such as 0802, 0803, 0805, 0809 usually identified with operators will no longer play the role of unique identifier.
He added that preparatory to the implementation of MNP, NCC adopted the ‘All Call Query (ACQ)’ option for routing calls and SMS in line with international best practice.
He pointed out that there are rules governing the process of customers porting from one network to another and regulating the implementation of by network providers.
“These rules are contained in the Mobile Number Portability Business Rules already published and available on the Commission’s website. In addition, the commission has also developed Regulations for Mobile Number Portability. It is anticipated that these documents will provide guidance, promote transparency and healthy competition among service providers,” the NCC chief said.
Source: The Nation