Nigeria to start mobile number portability in June

Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s communication regulator, is set to conduct nationwide Mobile Number Portability (MNP) starting June.

This follows National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers’ (NATCOMS) request last year to the regulator — to start MNP to enable mobile phone users change operator without losing their unique number or stored contacts.

NCC says MNP will also enable subscribers to preserve their numbers while switching to a different mobile network thus promoting competition, consumer choice and reducing switching costs.

Nigeria has more than a hundred million mobile subscribers and this will help them move from one mobile service provider to another instead of changing their phone numbers, which involves changing all company stationeries, billboards, banners and even branding on cars and websites.

Similar efforts whose take off however failed have been tried in Nigeria before. In May 2009, former NCC CEO Ernest Ndukwe announced an MNP takeoff day in Nigeria that was however hindered by infrastructural delays and lack of agreement on the mode of implementation.

Kenya started a similar inititaive in April last year. In Uganda, the mobile number portability has been scheduled for take off after the ongoing mobile SIM registration.

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