In a bid to deepen competition and force mobile phone operators to provide better service to their customers, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Monday launched the Nigerian Mobile Number Portability service to guarantee freedom for telecoms subscribers.
Here are 15 things you need to understand how the service can better work for you:
1. MNP allows subscribers to migrate from one mobile service provider to another without changing their mobile phone number. It empowers subscribers to terminate their relationship with their current network service provider if they are dissatisfied with the quality of services provided.
2. The service is provided by all GSM mobile operators in Nigeria- MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT, and AIRTEL- free of charge. This, however, does not apply to Fixed Number Portability, FNP, or any other form of number or service portability.
3. All mobile phone users, no matter the type of your subscription or plan – pre‐paid/pay-as-you-go, post‐paid/contract, simple/single number or complex/multi number – can take advantage of the service. Individual numbers are ported separately as separate transactions using the same procedure as for a single number account except that the numbers may share the same porting request form.
4.Subscribers must visit the customer care office, retail shop or outlet of their chosen new service provider to request to port their number. Porting cannot be done via telephone calls, text messages, online or other electronic means. Deferred or delayed porting is not permitted. Only real-time porting of numbers is allowed.
5.You must present valid identification documents- passport, driver’s license or an official identity card that has your picture on it- as for proof of identity. A webcam is used to capture your image in the absence of proper identification documents.
6.Your new network needs to check for credit worthiness to ensure that the request to port a number or numbers is not malicious.
7. To port your number, you would be asked to complete a Port Request Form. You would then be asked to send a text message with the word “PORT” to a short code “3232”. Porting is completed within 48 hours.
8. A new SIM card is issued every time you port your number to a new service provider. Your old SIM card ceases to be useful once the porting process has been completed.
9. Subscribers to any network can port at any time and as many times as they like in a given year. However, porting to a third operator or back to your original operator is restricted within 90 days of a previous port. You would need to follow the same procedure each time you decide to port your number or return to your previous service provider.
10. Information on the progress of your porting request is sent via SMS. You can change your mind at any time before you receive confirmation SMS is sent. Cancellation of porting request or porting process is not acceptable once you receive confirmation.
11. Service from the old service network operator may be lost within an hour of notification by SMS of completion of porting request.
12. Your call charges may change to reflect the tariffs of the new network operator.
13. Voicemail, SMS, MMS and ancillary services would need to be reset with the new service provider. Messages sent to you prior to porting may be lost.
14. Pre‐paid subscribers cannot take outstanding credits while switching to the new service providers.
15. Post‐paid subscribers must settle outstanding bills to their previous service provider, including any early termination fees, before the porting process can commence. A final bill for usage up to the time the number is ported would be sent to the new operator.