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Telecoms operators lose 69,469 subscribers in number porting activities



The quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile lost about 69, 469 subscribers in number porting activities in the first 11 months of 2018.

Going by the statistics obtained by The Guardian from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN lost 16,457 customers; Globacom 17, 943; Airtel 16, 852 and 9Mobile 17,509.

The service, which actually started in Nigeria on April 22, 2013, will be six years old this year and experts believed that the success of the initiative has not really been that vocal, but could be better.

In technical parlance, MNP is a process that allows subscribers to migrate from one network to another, in search of quality service, while still retaining their original phone numbers, irrespective of the network the subscriber chooses to migrate to.


In the guidelines issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it made porting free of charge for subscribers, but insisted that users could port their numbers once every 90 days.

It is interesting to also note that within the period under review and either by luck or chance, the operators welcomed 70,360 subscribers to their networks.

Despite current challenges facing it, 9Mobile, according to NCC received 26,726 subscribers to its network. MTN got 23, 805; Airtel 13, 297 and Globacom 6538.

Market Analysts said MNP is still crawling in Nigeria, adding that going by the large number of subscribers in the country, the figure should have been higher.

To them, MNP wobbles between 0.55 per cent and 1.5 per cent, compared to Ghana and South Africa that have recorded over seven per cent and six per cent within three years and seven years of operating MNP respectively.

Analysts often point to the fact that GSM operators in Nigeria offer fairly the same quality of service, “So it may be difficult for subscribers to want to switch. Service disruptions are recorded across all networks and none is immune to drop calls.”

According to them, the multi-sim nature of Nigeria is another major factor confronting MNP acceptability among subscribers, “virtually everybody in the country uses two or three SIMs to make calls and do others.”

In terms of the service improving QoS, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo said: “It created more competition among the operators, which should snowball into good service quality. However, that is absent for now but the part for the consumer is that at least, he or she has a choice to choose within the networks. So fulfilling that alone is something commendable.”

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