Nigeria, on Monday, joined other top countries of the world to launch the Mobile Number Portability. The scheme will give Nigerian subscribers the freedom to change from one network to another and still retain their number.
The regime which flagged off with a massive publicity event by the Nigeria Communications Commissions NCC, is expected to inject more competition among the service providers who would make massive investments on their networks to forestall migration from their networks.
Flagging the regime off in Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, said that the Nigerian subscribers have been handed the power to hire and fire their service providers depending on what kind of services they are rendering.
He however admitted that the regime would bring a Win-Win situation in the Nigerian telecommunications industry. The Picture Juwah painted was that with the regime, the NCC would have time to focus on regulation and forget about quality of service because the system has a survival instinct.
For the operators, there are no more stories to tell the customer. It is either shape up or lose the customer, while the subscribers have been entrusted with unlimited choice and power in their hands.
Earlier in her welcome address, Ms Josephine Amuwa of the NCC noted that experiences from other climes, have shown that MNP has helped the operators in streamlining their operations, strengthen the customer service and helps the subscriber out of the SIM locking phenomenon. “Today, the power is entirely in the hands of the consumers” she added.
She also disclosed that a wide consultation was embarked upon before the scheme was flagged off. “We also made sure that it is totally free for the consumer. This phase involves the GSM operators but the next phase would accommodate the CDMA operators”.
In their own goodwill messages, the telecom operators who witnessed the launch of the scheme pledged loyalty to the rules of the game but charged the NCC to ensure success of the scheme like it has been in other markets around the world.
Both the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Bett Goschen, CEO/MD Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Head, Regulatory Affairs, Globacom, Mr Yinka Olefemihan and Representative of Steve Evans, Etisalat CEO, expressed happiness at the take off of the scheme, revealing that they have made massive investments in readiness for the MNP regime.
At a press conference after the launch, there were concerns among users on how they can effectively access and enjoy the benefits of the system after the launch.
But Juwah made some clarifications: “Expectedly, the service will give the telecoms consumers the freedom of choice, redefine competition and allow subscribers the opportunity to use only one phone and operate on the platform of their choice.
The service will also impose cutting-edge responsibility on the operators who will now ensure their quality of service is good enough to retain the confidence of their subscribers.
However, the subscribers should also understand that the programme is just beginning and will not provide the ‘magic wand’ to address all the problems of the industry immediately”.
Ochuko: Akpos, where have you been?
Akpos: Watching a football match?
Ochuko: Who played?..
Akpos: Ivory coast vs Cote d ivoire
MAMA: How was your paper?..
AKPOS: Good, but I didn’t know d past tense of “think”. I thought and thought, then finally wrote “Thunk”.