The Nigerian Communication Commission has reiterated that the April,2013 rollout of the Mobile number portability, will bring to the fore of the 11 year old GSM Industry, effective service delivery and competition for the operators.
This was part of the Keynote speech delivered by the Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Mr Eugene Juwah at the Information and Communications Technology publishers powered forum to discuss the impact of the MNP in the Industry.
Represented by his Special Assistant Technical Matters Mr Edoyemi Ogoh, the NCC boss harped on the essence of the initiative to include;Giving the customer the benefit of moving from one network to another without changing numbers and creating a competitive level playing field for operators.
To ensure the viability of the process, the NCC had established business rules that to aid regulation and developed Frequently Asked Questions FAQ to create awareness and sensitize the nation.
Mr. Edoyemi Ogoh however emphasized the role of the media in ensuring proper publicity and dissemination of information on the MNP as critical to the engagement of the service.
Chairman of the occasion and former EVC NCC Engr Ernest Ndukwe who was represented by Engr. Lanre Ajayi President Association of License Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON), lauded the initiative to brainstorm on the 'Mobile Number Portability' impact, describing it as crucial to the growth of mobile technology sector in Nigeria.
In his welcoming remark the Chairman of the ICT publishers alliance Mr Aaron Ukodia veteran journalist on technology issues,described the forum as strategic to achieving a critical assessment of the MNP initiative with a view to ascertaining if Subscribers are really porting? and getting further insight into the factors that could militate against it, as well as the role of the media and the interventions needed.
On the technicality of the Mobile Number Portablity and a 106 days review of its impact on the market Mr Uche Onwudiwe Chief Operating Officer of the Inter-Connect group,the firm managing the process of porting in the nation, stated that so far the project has been a viable one which has witnessed a steady and stable level of engagement from the subscribers.
He however identified some challenges to the process, to include ; the filtering which delays the porting for subscribers due to mispelling of the 'PORT' to the code 3232 requirement, complaints by subscribers of some porting taking longer than the 2 days timeline.
In view of this Mr. Onwudiwe informed the forum that the Interconnect Group was working out modalities with the NCC to remove the filter, to ensure a seamless process.
Also speaking on the backdrop of concerns over the 90 days window to return back to initial network operator or change to another, if the one ported to is not giving required service, he also assured that the issue is being given consideration by NCC.
One of the major operators in the Industry Globacom, described the MNP as a laudable initiative, which is tenable in developed Nations.
Speaking through its Head Operations Mr Isaac Thomas the group said in demonstration of its readiness to ensure the process is successful, 6,000 porting centres have been deployed in the Country.
Highlight of the event was the Interractive session that discussed the efficacy of the porting, engagement from subscribers, cooperation from operators and effective regulatory role of the NCC.