Etisalat Attracts More Porting Subscribers

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A total of 234, 880 subscribers port to various Global System for Mobile Communications in the last two years with many switching to Etisalat followed by Airtel

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Apr. 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

DESPITE poor telecommunication networks in Nigeria, the Mobile Number Portability, MNP, introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been successful within two years of its inception. The NCC announced that a total of 234, 880 telecoms subscribers ported to various Global System for Mobile communications, GSM, networks in the country. According to the statistics recently released by the NCC, Etisalat Nigeria has continued to maintain lead in the number of incoming porting subscribers since its inception.

The NCC said the feat in maintaining a steady lead has led to the rapid growth in subscriber number on the Etisalat network. The statistics showed that Etisalat has more than 21 million subscribers, ranking close to Airtel and Globacom that have recorded over 27 million and 28 million subscribers respectively on their networks.

The figures show that Etisalat has maintained the highest number of incoming porting subscribers since the inception of MNP. The statistics revealed that Nigeria recorded the highest number of porting so far in September 2014, totalling 19,682 subscribers that ported across all networks, with Etisalat alone recording 9,749 porting subscribers.

Airtel recorded 6,523, Globacom 2,112 and MTN 1,304. The statistics also revealed that Nigeria had a total of 5, 759 porting subscribers in June 2013, which is the least number ever recorded so far. Etisalat still maintained leading position of incoming porting subscribers, having recorded 2,897, followed by Globacom with 1,641 incoming porting subscribers. Airtel had 676 subscribers that ported to its network that month, while MTN followed behind with 545 incoming porting subscribers.

MNP, no doubt, has helped boost the number of telecoms subscribers across network, which currently stood at 140.8 million, according to NCC’s latest release on subscriber statistics. Excited by the initiative, more than 4,000 subscribers ported within the first four days of its launch and 7,164 subscribers ported to different networks within one month of the MNP launch. However, the excitement from subscribers later reduced in the subsequent month, which many attributed to the strings attached to MNP by the NCC. One of such conditions was that a subscriber must remain on a particular network for up to 90 days after the initial porting. The implication is that the subscriber will have to remain on a particular network for as much as 90 days after the initial porting, even when the network service quality is poor.

Although the conditions initially slowed the rate of porting, as recorded in June 2013 as the total number of porting subscribers dropped to 5,759, against 7,164 recorded in May, 2013, the number, however, increased in August 2014 to 13,560, with Etisalat still maintaining the lead position with 7,719. The total number of porting subscribers hit its peak in the month of September 2014, recording 19,682 incoming porting subscribers, and Etisalat also had the highest number among other telecoms operators.

Although the total number of porting subscribers dropped slightly in the months of November and December 2014 to 14,094 and 11,168, respectively, the NCC’s latest release showed that the figure picked up again in the month of January 2015 to 12,494, with Etisalat having the highest number, which the NCC puts at 7,820, followed by Airtel with 2,342 incoming porting subscribers, while MTN had 1,186 subscribers that ported to its network in January 2015. Globacom had the least number of subscribers that ported to its network in the month of January 2015, with a record of 1,146.

Ibrahim Dikko, vice president, regulatory and corporate affairs, Etisalat, attributed the steady lead of Etisalat in MNP to the various number of innovative products it introduced into the market, which he said are customer friendly and have continued to attract more customers to the Etisalat network, while retaining its existing customers.

NCC had on April 22, 2013, launched MNP across all networks, designed to offer subscribers the opportunity to port their GSM numbers from one network to another, without losing their original numbers. The MNP was introduced into the telecoms industry to create a healthy competition among the operators. And it would give rise to a healthy competition in the industry, enhance quality of service and improve service delivery to the consumers. It will provide consumers with unfettered choice and remove the trouble of having to move around with multiple cell phones. MNP was designed to eliminate the associated cost of updating business contacts, marketing, notifying family members and associates.

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