Nine months after the launch of the much anticipated Mobile Number Portability (MNP) scheme, telecommunications subscribers have continued to complain about the cumbersome porting process. With the scheme, Nigeria’s over 121 million subscribers can switch to another network while retaining their number.
Subscribers have urged networks lessen the current difficulties been experienced by subscribers who wished to port from one network to another.
Some of the telecoms subscribers in Lagos have complained vehemently about their inability to successfully port to another mobile network after days of meeting the requirements needed to enable one make the switch.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had in April 22nd 2013 introduced the scheme. According to the Commission, the scheme is expected to deepen competition in Nigeria’s vibrant telecoms market. It is also expected to improve quality of service (QoS) as mobile subscriber step up investments in network expansion initiative in order to put them in pole position to lure new subscriber and retain existing ones.
Industry watchers say the scheme has had tlittle or no impact on the afforementioned.
Doris Aituaje, a telecom subscriber and a resident in Lekki Phase 1 said having fulfilled all it takes to be part of her choice mobile network service provider, she still could not received any text message confirming her successful porting.
“It is more than a week now since I fulfilled all the things they asked me to do, and yet I am still on the network that I wanted to port from,” she said adding that the situation was becoming too frustrating.
Monday Ejikeme, another subscriber said the telecom operators did not fully educate Nigerians on the true process of porting from one network to another.
He stressed that the adverts and promos run by the telecom service providers’ regarding porting procedures were not detailed enough. “The adverts and promos run by these companies are misleading as far as subscribers’ experiences have shown so far”, he said.
“The pictures painted to Nigerians in those adverts and promos were that: once you text certain numbers belonging to the network you intend porting to, you automatically becomes part of that network. We were not told there would be forms to be filled thereafter.
They should work hard to make the porting arrangement a lot easier for subscribers who wish to port,” he said.
James Udiong, a student of University of Uyo, said having text the numbers he was required to send to the network he intend porting to and no reply, he decided to call the customer’s care line of the network to ascertain what might be responsible for the no reply to his text message.
“I was told by the lady who answered me that I needed to go to any of their service centres close to me to fill some forms.
The nearest service centre was far from me; but I went anyway because I really wanted to opt out of my current network. I was told to leave alternative number behind so I could be reached after 48 hours.
“Its a week now and I have not heard from them. Worst still, the network that I intend porting from have stopped given me the free data I used to received from them because I have already text my indication to leave their network”, he said.
By: Ben Uzor Jr & Nathaniel Akhigbe