Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that a total of 2,790 subscribers were ported from one network to another in October 2022.
This resulted in higher gains for the two largest mobile network operators, MTN and Glo, as more subscribers moved to their networks.
Specifically, MTN gained 1,925 customers from other networks in the month, while Glo recorded 363 incoming porting.
- The movement was achieved through the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) instituted by the telecoms regulator, which allows customers to change their service providers without changing their numbers.
- The data from the NCC showed that Airtel also received 347 customers from other networks, while 9mobile attracted 106 customers through porting in the month under review.
- However, going by the number of subscribers that left the two networks for other networks, it was a loss for them.
Outgoing porting: Just as the operators gained some new customers from one another, they also lost to one another through outgoing porting. 9mobile emerged as the biggest loser for the month as 1,662 subscribers ported out of its network to others, while Airtel recorded 539 outgoing porting.
MTN also lost 332 subscribers to other networks as 258 subscribers left Globacom’s network to others.
Why subscribers port: From a peak of 22,539 in July 2015, the number of ports by mobile subscribers in Nigeria had declined steadily over the years to an average of 3,000 in a month. While the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had attributed the decline to improvement in service quality, the telecoms regulator believes it is a combination of factors.
According to NCC, aside from the quality of service, most subscribers equally ported to other networks because they wanted to enjoy cheaper call and data rates on various promos offered by network operators.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, had this to say:
- “The essence of Mobile Number Portability, which the NCC introduced some years ago, offers telecoms subscribers the flexibility to move at will from one network to another, while still retaining their original mobile numbers. They will not be subjected to a particular network if they have reasons to leave the network, and that is the beauty of Mobile Number Portability. Subscribers port for different reasons, which include getting a better quality of service or enjoying certain packages being offered by another operator. Nigerian subscribers will continue to enjoy this right.”