2011 is definitely going to be the year of exciting developments in mobile. I got a snipet this morning that there was a press conference

Mobile Number Portability Coming in May 2011

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2011 is definitely going to be the year of exciting developments in mobile. I got a snipet this morning that there was a press conference at which the NCC announced that number portability will commence in Nigeria in May 2011.


This is almost unbelievable. I had previously read an online official publication of the NCC last year, where NCC was talking about plans to introduce number portability. I was discussing it on twitter yesterday, while talking about the new MTN tariffs. People started saying that certain Nigerian Network would be the worst hit if number portability is effected. See its going to come on Life in May 2011.

According to a report in THIS DAY Live:


The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, has disclosed that number portability will commence in the country in May this year.

The agenda the commission will pursue, includes the consolidation and integration of mobile wireless services, fixed line and broadband deployment for national development; enhanced competitive market, enhanced choice for the consumer; vigorous compliance monitoring and enforcement of regulations and directions; national connectivity for accelerated growth and enhanced international relations.



What is Number Portability?

Number portability enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. If I am with a particular network and I am dissatisfied, I can simply move to the network of my choice without changing my number. I would not have to go through the pain of finding how to alert my contacts that my number has changed.


When number portability eventually go on live, it is going to instigate more competition among telecom operators. Hopefully, this will result in subscribers enjoying more benefits. I am really looking forward to this.

Are you as excited as I am?


What changes are you looking forward to when number portability eventually goes live?


Is this going to bring in any rapid change in the telecom services provided in Nigeria for voice calls, text, and data?

What are your inferences? The comments box is open, be the first to comment and invite your friends to join in. Thanks.

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  2. There’s no need beating about the bush, let’s spill it out and i even expect mass action. MTN is the worst and the most customer unfriendly network in Nigeria. After introducing link packages which was a mockery on themselves, now they are introducing paygo abi, talkon. As you said, it’s because of this change of number stuff that people just stick with their old lines but i believe with this, we’ll know who is fooling who in this tariff war. At least it’s no longer news that Airtel charges 20k to all networks, Etisalat charges 25k to all networks and glo does similar. But MTN, hmmm. You all know better.

  3. u cant understand how excited i am to hear this..am just simply gonna port my mtn number to etisalat network…it would be fantastic..i hope the processes of porting wouldn be strenous and long sha

  4. I have long been waiting for this number portability because i bear no allegiance whatsoever to any of the mobile networks.IT WILL GIVE ROOM TO SERIOUS COMPETITION.However one of the conditions NCC will give is that your simcard must have been duly registered before you can port it to any other network.All the networks are still reaping us in terms of data services.I feel cheated!.

  5. ‘Are you as excited as I am?’

    You bet!

    Best news I have heard this year!

    Just hoping NCC will not renege on this — like the interminable gas flaring deadline thing….

  6. And there is a full detailed publication on NCC official website on the terms of service as well as punitive measures to any network that makes it hard for subscribers to move as they like. They termed it :: acting in good faith.

    Link would be up soon || Link to NCC’s paper.

  7. the Ncc is one of the better government agencies out there. This scheme should boost competition and I’m guessing mtn will be the big loosers. This also means we might see at least one more brand new network sometime soon.

  8. I am glad we are now taking our national development more seriously, some network providers exploit the Nigeria masses right from the very onset. it is unfortunate that up till this moment they do not have a conscience to give a little to the masses who made them what they are today in Africa. It is a complete failure from their marketing team….. with this current development of Number portability they will surely pay for their greeds.

  9. This is the most exciting news since we got gsm networks in Nigeria. I have not registered my sim cards but with this being the condition for me to be able to port my number then I am going to register now. MTN will know for sure how most of their customers see them. This is one good way to drive competition among the networks. I see that airtel has improved with the new rebranding of the old zain network, else they may also see a mass exodus. Thank you NCC.

  10. Just one question. When i migrate from 1 network to another and my line gets lost while on the new network, where do i go to collect my welcome back sim?

  11. This is the best article that I have read from Jesse. One love. Keep it up.

    Needless, to say, as soon as this number portability comes up I WILL MIGRATE FROM MTN AS SOON AS I CAN!! Any Network will do just FINE!! They are anti-Customer!!

  12. @Mark:

    When you port your number from Operator A to Operator B; Operator B becoms your carrier and network Provider. Your details and records would be ported with you.

    In the case you loose your line, your new network provider would be the one to retrieve your line for you.

    Let’s keep hoping the launch comes as reported, as it is long over due.

  13. People started saying that certain Nigerian Network
    would be the worst hit if number portability is

    FYI, that certain Nigerian Network is MTN NIGERIA

    The primary reason millions of people like me don’t want to snap our mtn sim cards into two is because we just can change our numbers. I have been using mtn for the last seven years but last year, they lost me. So come may, I’ll gladly port my number to Etisalat or glo.

  14. Oh My Days!!!!!! Well, i’ll still retain my Mtn line, cos when this stuff starts…you’ll see mtn up on their feet. They’re just so arrogant now cos they don’t have a ‘tight rival’ buh if they don’t improve, hehehe…i always gat etisalat to switch to.

  15. Love you for this article Jesse.

    At long last, my uneasy yoke with MTN will be broken.

    Let’s just pray NCC will not be lobbied into a change of hearts. This is Nigeria and MTN knows how to play the Nigerian game. Pressure should be mounted on NCC to follow thru with this line of action.

  16. The latest debacle sees me trying to reload my Business (postpaid) number with “service Busy” notification from MTN. This happened for more than 4 Hours!! How sad? When I load a prepaid line instead, it goes in immediately.

    It is only a sick network that will treat its businesscustomers worse than its ordinary customers. MTN may just be the ANTICHRIST itself!

    I’ll be the first to migrate from MTN with the number portability service. I will also encourage others do the same!

  17. @Jesse. Thanks alot for the info. That was my only fear. Guys lets not be to sure MTN would sit back and watch people leave thier network. They may just be the best network when number portability comes on 😉 . Cant wait to be treated well by network providers. God bless Nigeria.

  18. Chief, your MTN SIM don see better days oh! lol

    Ii is a welcome change if the switching thingy can be done instantly without having to go to their offices. But wouldn’t this be the end of dual sim phones ?

  19. ‘But wouldn’t this be the end of dual sim phones ?’

    The ‘dual-gsm-SIM’, most probably, yes.

    The dual ‘gsm-cdma’ ones should continue to thrive..

  20. Well, looks to me as if it is not only Mtn than has issues with ripping off the subscribers.

    My etisalat SIM is able to take advantage of the weekly 15MB data bonus – on loading N200. Guess I was lucky i bought a sim that probably came from the quartet (4-piece).

    A friend’s and my wife’s SIM could not.

    On investigating, we found that the offer is for EasyCliq plan only.

    Well, we migrated to ‘EasyCliq”, N100 was deducted for this service, and this was confirmed by an sms from Etisalat.

    Despite this, we still could not take advantage of the weekly 15MB thingy.

    I then decided to check how much was being charged for voice calls. For Easycliq, this is supposed to be 25k/sec.

    Now see this scenario:

    There was N103 on this newly-migrated ‘EasyCliq’ SIM

    A call was made lasting 165 secs.

    After this call, there was N20, meaning N83 was DEDUCTED for 165 secs of call.

    By my little arithmetic, this translates to N30.18/min for that 165-sec call (or about 50k/sec)!

    Now, on the Etisalat website, EasyLife is said to be 50k/sec, which means our migration to ‘EasyCliq’ was actually of no effect. N100 was deducted for nothing, and the migration not done.

    Am I angry? You bet.

    This is just unfair.

    Let us hope the number portability thing will be a simple process…

  21. wwwooowww…. i know some mtn officials will be reading all the posts here… what a shame. mtn is the only network everyone has been mentioning as the network to dump when portability takes off and that includes mine. because mtn was the first and most legacy line numbers where registered with them, they think they can take us all for granted. i presently use my mtn because its the no most people know me with. once i can port, i will move to a consumer friendly network… likely glo, because i use their data and they are very nigerian friendly.

  22. I believe by the time this is out, tariffs will be similar across network and providers will start looking at other services to lure customers. That is what am excited about.

    Will I port my MTN number? cant answer that question now. Because they all have their ‘SWOT’

  23. @Eyebeekay

    Did you dial *220*1# before making the call? Getting an easy cliq sim does not automatically qualify you to make calls for 25k/s, you have to opt in by dialling the ussd code mentioned above. From your post above, you made no mention of opting in for the 25k/s so that’s why you were charged the default rate of 50k/s second. Unlike MTN etisalat does not rip off subscribers.

  24. Hi MTN, I hope you’re reading all the comments on this post and hopefully this might lead to you guys having a change of heart concerning your customers. Thanks for luring me into switching to the TalkOn package and yet when I want to add numbers to my F&F list you tell me that ‘its only for those on TalkOn’. Thanks for nothing.

  25. @Keweno >>


    Did you dial *220*1# before making the call? Getting an easy cliq sim does not automatically qualify you to make calls for 25k/s, you have to opt in by dialling the ussd code mentioned above. From your post above, you made no mention of opting in for the 25k/s so that’s why you were charged the default rate of 50k/s second.

    Thank you so much. Just reading this. No I did not dial *220*1#. I did not know about that!

    Also, we are now able to take advantage of the 15Mb weekly freebie.

    Apologies for my crying ‘Wolf, wolf, wolf..!”

  26. May 2011 is far spent. Today is 24th, Any news on that yet? Just one question about the Mobile Number Portability facility. can you revert back to earlier network?

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