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Monday, June 20, 2011

NCC turns attention to Number Portability soon

Following the proper take off of the SIM Card Registration exercise in the country, the attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) would not be on the workability of the Number Portability (NP).

This indication follows the outline presented to the Nigerian media as part of the six-point agenda by the current Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, last January.

Number Portability is a process that allows mobile phone users to migrate from one network to another with the same number, especially when they are dissatisfied.

Sources at NCC confirmed to ITRealms Online that the processes will lead to a well-managed number portability regime largely at advanced stage.

It was gathered that the Initial Consultation Paper on the Implementation of Mobile Number Portability was published on the Commission’s website in February 2009, and comments were received from the industry stakeholders and the general public.

Additionally, it was gathered that the observations and concerns of the network operators have been addressed and accommodated as well as the regulator, bearing in mind the importance of the exercise and the overwhelming expectations of subscribers.

“NCC is taking all necessary steps that will ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page on the issue,” our sources said, stressing that the official announcement to this effect would be made soon by Dr, Juwah.

Experts say Number Portability connotes the ability to retain an existing subscriber number when transferring services from one operator to another.

Equally, they said, the porting process usually begins and ends when a subscriber initiates a request to a donor network for approval to transfer a number from their network to the recipient network.

“The subsequent receipt of an answer from the Donor Network, and the act of informing all Operators that a number has been successfully transferred and is now active on the Recipient Network, is what makes number portability work,” experts explained.

Even as it is expected that Number Portability will excite more competition which could drive down prices and increase value, and also impact on the quality of service (QoS) which the Commission is deploying various measures to address at the moment.

KPMG is consulting for the NCC on the exercise and is expected to handle all the back-end relationships.

Just as Dr. Juwah has assured that adequate preparations are being made to ensure the process is as flawless as possible when it takes off in the country.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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