After five months of inactivity due to the suspension of new SIM sales and registration, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has resumed across the mobile networks in Nigeria, TechTrackAfrica reports. According to data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) 616 subscribers ported to another network in June.
Number portability allows mobile subscribers to change their service provider without changing their number. This means that an MTN subscriber that ports to Airtel, continues to use his or her MTN line but no longer as an MTN subscriber, but Airtel’s.
Although the government’s ban on new SIM registration which took effect from December 9, 2020, was lifted on April 19, 2021, the NCC’s data showed that the subscribers could not resume number porting in April and even May. The last porting activity reported was December 2020.
Impacted by the ban the December porting figure stood at 4,085, a 300 per cent decline from 16,342 recorded in the preceding month. However, the June 2021 record came as the lowest monthly figure of number porting since the initiative was launched in May 2013.
The NCC’s data for June showed that Airtel, which is the second-largest operator in terms of subscriber number benefitted the most from subscribers porting in the month as 350 subscribers moved to the network from other operators. 9mobile emerged as the second-largest beneficiary of the movement as 191 subscribers ported to its network. MTN, which controls the largest share of the market also recorded 65 incoming portings during the period under review, while Globacom did not attract any customer from other networks.
In terms of outgoing porting, 9mobile lost more than it gained as 323 customers ported out of the network. Airtel also lost as 101 subscribers moved out of the network to other networks, while MTN recorded 106 outgoing porting.
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was flagged off by NCC in April 2013 as a way of giving telecommunications subscribers in the country the freedom to move from one network to another for a better experience without changing their number. It was designed to reduce subscribers’ complaints about the poor quality of service as they would have the opportunity to change operators at will.