Phone Number portability and GSM services- Merits and Demerits

  20 August 2015

In the year 2013, the Nigerian telecommunications industry introduced the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, a service that affords you the opportunity to retain your phone number while you switch to another network provider.

This service has brought with it advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them.


  • One of the obvious and paramount merits of phone number portability is the ability to retain your phone number while you can change the network provider. With this provision, you can connect with families and friends without having to change your phone number while changing to another quality and/or cheaper service.


  • Business men and women who has been in a business for a long time and already have a phone number that customers already associate with the business will also benefit from this service more. Most likely, the first provider they chose might not currently be offering the best service and they might want to change a provider. With the Mobile number portability service, they can do this conveniently without having to change the number that people already know them with.


  • On request, details about your messages and your contacts in the previous SIM can be retained and stored. As such, you don’t necessarily have to loss this information while you switch provider.



  • Once you port your mobile number to a different network provider, you cannot opt-out of that network within a period of 90 days i.e. 3 full months. What this means is that even if the new provider you’re using now is not doing well, you just have to remain there for the time period.


  • The portability is geographical area dependent. What that means is that if you’ve ported in a particular geographical area, when you move out of that area, then you cannot use your phone number.


  • If you have an airtime balance in your account before porting to another network operator, it will wipe off as soon as the porting is completed. That means you have to leave the account empty before you can port the line.



Going by these merits and demerits, Nigerians have different taste of the mobile number portability service (MNP). While it is beneficial to many for obvious reasons, the demerits also makes it a turn=off for some, not least due to the fact that mobile phones now allow users to use more than one network operator at the same time.


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What do you think about the mobile number portability service? Is it doing more harm than good? Use the comment box below to air your opinions.





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