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22nd April 2013. 11:56pm WAT…

Finally, the long awaited mobile number portability service is here in Nigeria. It has been rolled out in all four GSM networks (I saw comprehensive information on only MTN and Airtel and Glo networks as at 11pm WAT though) and the Ngerian Communications Commission (NCC) promises to ensure it stays, and in fact plans to include CDMA networks soonest.

For full details of the NCC documents that explain Mobile Number Portability, check out these two documents (opens as PDF)

Mobile Number Portability Business Rules – NCC

Mobile Number Portability Legal Draft Regulation – NCC

What then is MNP?

Mobile Number Portability is a service that enables users to retain their mobile numbers when changing from one mobile network to another. This means that you can decide to, if you are dissatisfied with, say Airtel or Globacom, switch to Etisalat or MTN, without losing your mobile number.

MNP is available for both corporate and individual subscribers, though the process differs. It is also available for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

To port your number, just walk in to an experience/customer care/retail outlet of the network operator you want to port to, and you will be put through the process.

And porting is FREE.

Mobile Number Portability MNP
Mobile Number Portability MNP

But wait!

Before you port…

For prepaid customers, If you port, the following will be lost

  • contacts
  • voice call credit
  • data subscription
  • SMS
  • mobile money
  • and other services

from your old network, so please BACKUP anything you cannot afford to lose. Since you cannot backup your credit (well, you could as well transfer them all to me if you please), or your data subscription, I suggest you use them all up, because they will walk.

If you’re a postpaid customer, you have nothing to worry about, just skip over to the next step.

Remember that you cannot port a non-registered or deactivated SIM.

The porting process proper – How to port from any network to any network in Nigeria

Now that you have backed up, WALK IN TO A CUSTOMER CARE CENTRE with the following documents ready:

  1. Proof of Identity (National Identity Card, Driving License or International Passport) for sighting and verification
  2. A recent mobile bill (If you are a postpaid customer)
  3. The working mobile number you wish to port
  4. Your first and last name (in case you don’t remember)
  5. The name of your existing network
  6. Your gender
  7. Passport photographs (2)

If you do not have a Valid ID card, your photograph will be taken with a webcam

You will be asked to complete an application form and a porting request form with these details. Fill and submit.

The customer service agent will, after verification, forward your request to the MNP platform, and then you will receive notification on your old line to send a phone-free SMS with the word ‘PORT’ to a number (3232). After 48 hours (maximum time limit given by NCC), your port should be complete and you should receive a notification SMS to plug in the new sim card.

MNP promises to be promising. At least I don’t need to have 4 phones to have four lines. What do you think? And if you decide to port today, what network will you port to? Please leave your comments down below

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