Telecoms regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it expects the introduction of number portability (NP) to take place from August this year, local newspaper THISDAY reports, citing the NCC’s director of public affairs Tony Ojobo. Last October the regulator announced it had selected a consortium of three companies – Interconnect, Saab Grintek and Telcordia – to manage the implementation of NP, which enables subscribers to retain their phone numbers when they switch service provider. The consortium’s licence took effect as of January 2012; within six months of this date set up it is required to set up and introduce the NP platform, ahead of a two-month testing period.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the introduction of NP was first considered by the NCC in the third quarter of 2007, although an initial consultation paper on its possible implementation was not actually published until February 2009. The launch of the service was subsequently delayed, following complaints from the nation’s GSM operators that they had not been given enough time to upgrade their facilities to be compliant with NP. A tender was opened by the NCC in June 2010 for an administrative services provider to facilitate the process of number porting, but in early 2011 the commission said it had decided to wait for the conclusion of the SIM registration process before implementing NP. The deadline for the country’s mobile subscribers to register their SIMs expired on 28 September 2011, but the NCC subsequently extended the registration deadline for a ‘limited period’ to allow any remaining subscribers to register their details.