This process has been initiated by the long-awaited launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which finally took place this week and has created a new impetus for telecoms to cater to consumers in order to keep - or gain - their business.
Yesterday, HumanIPO reported MTN Nigeria launched a television advert that personified the whole idea behind MNP, featuring Saka, who had featured in several Etisalat adverts in the past. Airtel has also launched an advert featuring a subscriber switching from MTN to Airtel.
In addition to the television commercials, the telecoms companies are slashing the cost of their services across board, with HumanIPO reporting yesterday on the new cost of BlackBerry subscriptions on the MTN and Etisalat networks.
With more exciting products set to be rolled out in the days ahead, the atmosphere in Nigeria is nostalgic. On one side, Nigerians are happy at the break up of the much discussed pact made by the telecoms companies to continually swindle subscribers, though on the other hand, they are scared the current emphasis on releasing new products and cost slashes may put more pressure on the network’s capacity to accommodate more subscribers.
If subscribers of other networks begin to migrate to MTN and Etisalat, the networks may become unable to adequately provide maximum services with the best quality to all subscribers. This is where the NCC needs to come in and ensure no network attracts more subscribers than its capacity can adequately support.
While no much migration is realistically anticipated due to the stringent rules, the average telecoms subscriber in Nigeria is glad to see the various networks jostle and fight one another in adverts and offers, competing for the subscribers who once they barely cared about. And for once the once timid regulatory agency seems to be getting it right.