On Monday 22nd April 2013, the Nigerian Communications Commission launched the first phase of the Mobile Number Portability Service (MNP) in Lagos. What this means is that Nigerian mobile phone users can now move their mobile numbers from one network operator to another.
Among the dignitaries that flagged off the service were the Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Bath Nnaji, House of Representatives Chairman on Communication, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, and the Executive Commissioner of the NCC, Eugene Juwah.
Later, the second phase of the MNP service will be launched with fixed wireless operators like Starcomms, Visafone and Capcom.
The MNP was first inaugurated in Singapore in 1997. The United Kingdom and Netherlands followed suit in 1999 while Spain Switzerland and Sweden the service between 2001 and 2002. The US inaugurated the service in 20003, South Africa in 2006 and Ghana in 2012.
How the service works
This is how the MNP service works, according the Chief Operating Officer of the Interconnect Clearing House of Nigeria (ICHN) Mr Uche Onwudiwe:
If you wish to move your number to another network operator (e.g. from Operator A to Operator B), you would first have to make your plan known by informing the recipient operator (Operator B).
After you have done this, the ICHN, which is the company in charge of moderating transfer of numbers through the MNP service, will send a message to your present operator (Operator A), informing it of your plan to leave its network for another network.
Then the recipient network (Operator B) will then send you a new SIM card and a confirmation text informing you that the transfer has been done successfully. The whole process takes 48 hours.
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