Nigerians are patiently waiting for the implementation of the Mobile Number Portability system in Nigeria by September, 2011 as earlier stated by the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission).
In Ghana, over 6,000 subscribers used the service within the first 10 (ten) days of the service launch. Below is a Press Release by the DG of the National Communications Authority of Ghana. The service was launched in Ghana on the 7th of July, 2011.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) is pleased to announce that as of Saturday night, July 16, at the end of the tenth full day of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Ghana, 5,631 subscribers had successfully moved from one mobile service provider to another while retaining their mobile number. By Monday morning, the number had surpassed 6,000.
NCA’s analysis of the data for these first ten days shows that of the porting requests completed:
1. 12% were completed in 15 minutes or less
2. 22% were completed in 30 minutes or less
3. 36% were completed in 1 hour or less
4. 72% were completed in 4 hours or less
5. 14% completed between 4 and 12 hours
6. 13% completed between 12 and 24 hours
7. Less than 1% were completed in more than 24 hours
The fastest port recorded so far in Ghana took place in a mere 1 minute, 31 seconds. The average porting time for the first ten days was 4 hours, 17 minutes.
This performance compares very favorably with recent MNP implementations in other countries, such as India, where porting a mobile number can take up to seven days, and Kenya, where it can take up to 48 hours. Even in Europe, porting can take considerably longer than it does in Ghana. Spain has just announced its intention to reduce porting times next year from the current four days to one.
Ghana also stands out by another measure: thanks to the collaborative and concerted effort by all involved, Mobile Number Portability moved from decision to launch in just 17 months. Ghana is also among the very few countries which have launched the service in the month first promised.
During this full scale nation-wide launch, a number of challenges have arisen. Some porting applications which could not be submitted because no validation text message was received; the causes are under investigation. In other cases the customer’s original service provider declined to authorize the porting request, usually because the customer had not been with that network for the minimum 30 days required. Many of the several cases in which a request was incorrectly declined have already been resolved.
Ghana mobile phone subscribers are reminded that when they sign the porting request form and send the validation text message, they are moving their number from their current mobile service provider to a new one. They are closing their account at the old network, and when the porting is completed, they will no longer be using the old SIM. It appears that in some cases, the customer did not clearly understand this, and believed they were receiving an additional number. We therefore wish to summarize again the steps taken in the porting process:
1. If you wish to leave or quit your current mobile service provider but keep the same phone number, you should go to a shop or agent for the service provider you wish to join, bringing your photo ID and your phone.
2. You will be asked to sign the porting request form, your ID information will be recorded, and you will be asked to send a free text message to validate the request.
3. As soon as the agent or shop has submitted your request via computer and you have sent the validation text message, you will receive a text message. “Your porting request is being processed. Thank you.”
4. If the request was not submitted by computer or the validation text message you sent was not received, then two days later you will receive a text message, “Your porting request could not be submitted.” In this case, you should contact the service provider you intended to join to learn what has gone wrong with the process.
5. If for any of the few permitted reasons your current service provider declines to approve your request, you will receive a text message, “Your porting request was not approved. Please contact your new operator for details.” You should contact the network you intended to join.
6. If all goes well, in less than 24 hours you should receive a text message, “Your number is being ported now. Please switch to the chip or service from your new operator.” However, if you do not receive that message and your current SIM stops working, it is possible that the porting request has been completed, but you did not receive the text message. In that case, you should try your new SIM to see if it can now make and receive calls.
7. Any problems or inquiries during or after the porting process should be directed at the service provider you joined or attempted to join.
NCA is pleased with the public response to MNP so far, and we are diligently monitoring the process to ensure that rules are followed and that the process is serving the public interest as intended. In the future, we intend to release general statistics on a monthly basis.
Members of Facebook are invited to join our group page, “MNP Ghana”, to learn more and join the discussion.