Amid poor service quality that has continued to bedevil the telecoms sector, the federal government has backed the initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence number porting across the GSM networks today.
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. 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 rollout infrastructure, and reduce bottlenecks on right of ways, wilful destruction of telecoms facilities, among other measures,” Johnson said.
Confirming that it would commence the exercise today, the Head, Public Relations at NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, told THISDAY that all was set for full implementation of MNP across GSM networks.
According to him, “all the GSM operators are ready and NCC is set to rollout the service, which is long overdue.”
He, however, said operators of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), like Visafone, Capcom, and Intercellular, would not be part of the exercise at the moment, because of the different technology that they operate.
He said NCC would begin with GSM operators, and later include the CDMA operators, if that of the GSM operators became successful.
The Corporate Services Executive at MTN, Mr. Wale Goodluck, told THISDAY that MTN was fully ready for MNP, owing to its nationwide modernisation exercise, which he said, had improved service quality to some extent, even though the project is ongoing.
He was optimistic that MTN, just like other GSM operators would not experience any hitch in the takeoff of the exercise.
Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, Mr. Steve Evans, had initially stated that Etisalat, which is the latest entrant into the GSM market space, was ready for the rollout of MNP in Nigeria.