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Want to Switch Your Mobile Network without Changing Your Phone Number? NCC Begins Mobile Number Portability Service across All GSM Networks



Have you ever had the desire to switch your mobile network without having to change your phone number? Now you have the opportunity to as the Federal Government has backed the initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence number porting across the GSM networks.

The exercise was launched in Nigeria yesterday and all the GSM operators and NCC is set to rollout the service. Operators of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), like Visafone, Capcom and Intercellular, would however not be part of the exercise at the moment, because of the different technology that they operate.

The Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson, told ThisDay that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) would give subscribers the choice to select networks that offer best telecoms services, insisting that Nigerians have to embrace it, since it was the best option in a bad situation.

“We are going ahead with MNP because it will increase competition in the industry. It, however, does not stop the service quality issue because we have a nationwide service quality issue, which cuts across networks. We are doing a lot of other things to improve telecoms service, by creating an enabling environment for network operators to roll out infrastructure, and reduce bottlenecks on right of ways, wilful destruction of telecoms facilities, among other measures,” she said.

This service which is currently being practised in South Africa and in most countries in Europe, is to give subscribers the choice to move from their original network to another network, in search of better service quality. The subscriber also has the choice of returning to the initial network, if the service later improves.

To use this service, the number to be ported must be a SIM registered number with your current operator. The subscriber must physically visit the retail store/customer outlet of the new operator. Also, a photo identification card must be presented to the new operator. This therefore means that there will be no proxy porting process. Also, a porting will be completed within 48 hours from the port request. It is available on MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat networks.

What do you think about this new service? Are you interested in changing your mobile network? If you are, where would you be migrating to?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Hay_zel

    March 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Finally! I treated this topic in my final year project and some of my lecturers didnt even know what I was talking about. Good to know we are moving forward in this country

  2. oyin

    March 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, didn’t know you could not already do this in Naija.

    Great progress

  3. dee

    March 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    THIS PART “The subscriber must physically visit the retail store/customer outlet of the new operator” needs more explanation though. does this mean if i’m using mtn and i want to switch to etisalat, ill have to go to etisalat’s office?
    then if i want to switch back from etisalat to mtn, i will go to mtn’s office again..
    i’m confused cos that sounds stressful. I’m sure there’s a way to do this without having to go back and forth all the time.. im pretty sure.

  4. pynk

    March 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    haha i can see it all now. Your number will be suspended between two operators for a minute. When they started this in America, it had glitches. I want to see Naija get it right.

  5. nmbw

    March 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Wonder how many times one would have to switch networks….as stated in the piece, this doesn’t solve quality issues present across all nigerian networks. I guess, it offers some sorta soothing effect tho, the ease to move to a less crappy network without changing numbers

  6. Larry ochuko

    March 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    What am i pprting when i use 3 networks on 2 phones. Just bring down call prices down and improve services.

  7. whoever

    March 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    bye bye to Mtn oh! they will so loose customers from now, including me. bcus am tired of them, but my fear has been changing my number.

  8. nma

    March 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    MTN bye finally

  9. debutante

    March 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    ghen ghen… MTN is in trouble

  10. Sel

    March 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Ghana has been doing it for 4 years

  11. Bad girl Rona

    March 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Bye bye MTN

  12. many people

    March 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I cant wait for all these people to rush out of MTN. And reduce the network Traffic for us. MTN IS ABOUT TO ROCK AGAIN!!!

  13. impervious

    March 27, 2013 at 8:50 am

    PRAISE JESUS!!! I can finally be free of MTN…. etisalat here I come!!!!

  14. Berry Dakara

    March 27, 2013 at 9:26 am


  15. kevin

    March 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

    For your information, there is a dedicated Nigerian website to mobile number portability i thought you should be aware of: and also
    It’s about time MNP was implemented in Nigeria. Hopefully the services will improve with the added competition.

  16. Nina

    March 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I don’t think this is the solution to the network problems we have in Nigeria. For one, every base station on any network has a capacity. when a large number of people move from one network to another, the receiving network will become congested. They will need to expand their network. The question is, will her customers be patient enough for her to do so or will they move on to another network? Secondly, it is not wise to start expanding a network in anticipation of receiving customers from another network. Reasons, high costs of maintenance especially in the areas of security and power given that you are not generating any income to cushion that; what if customers do not move to your network in the volume you expected? Have you ever wondered why there is no network coverage in some parts of the country? Telecoms company site there base stations based on the expected volume of calls from a particular area among other things. Thirdly, the technicalities involved. i doubt if we can have a glitch free porting in Nigeria now. I have compared the call rates on all the neworks in Nigeria, they are all the same. where one takes from you, the other gives you and vice versa. When you balance it, it is the same. NCC should concentrate on improving the network quality generally through other means.

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