MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY; A WAY FORWARD TO IMPROVING QUALITY OF SERVICE BY NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDERS
The Nigeria communication Commission (NCC) has commenced the pilot phase of the mobile number portability (MNP) in Nigeria. A consortium of three firms, Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria (ICN), Telecordia of the USA, and Saab Grintek of South Africa won the bid to operate the MNP.
In the last quarter of 2012, service providers commenced the integration of their systems with telecommunication providers’ Operation Support Systems (OSSs) and internal business processes. The licensed telecom companies (Telcos) have also consistently indicated readiness to embrace the scheme despite the competitive pressure it represents.
Opinions vary on the likely impact of the adoption of mobile number portability on the sectors dynamics, particularly on the competitive landscape, the Quality of Service (QoS) and benefits to users. While the adoption of MNP may intensify competition, the impact on QoS would depend largely on the capacity of the telecom companies to make additional investments in technology and network expansion. This will be necessary in order to withstand any surge in users.
The scheme is poised to transform the telecom sector positively in favour of subscribers but could be self-defeating where stakeholders’ activities, including the regulators, are not complementary especially in relation to the incentives for operators to increase capacity when necessary.