By Juliet Umeh
As network’s customers seek to move from one service provider to another which is also known as mobile number portability, they seek answers to a lot of salient questions.
And these answers have clearly been provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
*Will the cost of my calls to my friends and family change after I have ported?
After porting, you may be charged differently when calling friends and family that are not on the same network as you. Also, your friends and family may be charged differently (if they remain on the old network or if the tariff arrangement with the new operator is different from that of the donor) when calling the customer after porting.
*When can I port to another operator?
You can port at any time. However, you will be restricted from porting your number to a third operator or back to your original operator within 90 days of a previous port.
*Do I have a limit to the number of porting that I can do with one number in a particular year? No. You can port your number as many times as you like in a given year. However, there is a 90 days restriction before your next port.
*If I port to a new network, and get a new SIM Card, after 90 days, will I follow same procedure to return to my previous provider?
Yes. Any time you wish to port your number, you will have to go to the customer care office, retail shop or authorised dealer of your chosen new service provider to request to port your number. You will also need to be issued a new SIM Card.
*Will I use my previous SIM Card or will I be required to get another SIM Card from my previous operator thereby rendering my earlier SIM from this operator useless this time?
You will need to be issued a new SIM card every time you wish to port your number to a new service provider as your previous SIM card will not work with your new service provider.
*Would I be required to pay for the New SIM Card?
You will be issued a new SIM card by your new service provider, which may be free or charged, depending on the service provider.
* Can I approach the new operator and decide to register my SIM Card with them for the purpose of porting?
Your SIM Card must be registered with your current operator before visiting your new service provider. *Can my current operator try to persuade me to stay whilst I am porting?
No. Your current operator is not allowed to contact you during the porting process to try and persuade you to stay with them. Any such contact by your current operator must be reported to your new service provider or the NCC.
*If my previous operator calls or disturbs me as a way of inviting me back to its network within a period of 90 days of porting, to whom should I report?
You can report this to your new service provider or to the NCC.
*How long does porting take?
Your port will be completed within 48 hours.
*I’m a post‐paid customer ‐ can I port if my initial contract has not expired or I haven’t paid my bills? Yes. “Post‐paid” customers will be able to port their numbers. However, once the porting process is complete, post‐paid customers are required to settle their outstanding bills to their previous service provider including any early termination fees. The old service provider is permitted to use any legal measures to recover any outstanding charges from you.
*Will my old operator stop billing me when I port?
“Post‐paid” customers will receive a final bill for usage up to the time their number is ported to the new operator.
*How can MNP be said to be free when a network operator may decide to charge for the new SIM card?
The service of porting from one network operator to another is free. However, since a new SIM card is required to port, network operators may choose to either sell the new SIM card or issue it for free to the subscriber.
*Do I need to preserve my old SIM card in case I want to return to my previous network operator after 90 days?
Your old SIM card will be rendered unusable as soon as porting to the new network operator is completed. If you wish to port back to your old network operator, a new SIM card will be issued to you. *If I initiate the porting process that cannot be reversed at the point of sending the text, when do I lose service from my previous network operator?
As soon as porting is completed, you will be notified by SMS that porting is completed, and you will be requested to change your old SIM card with the new one given to you by your new network operator. You may lose service from your old service network operator within an hour from being notified by SMS of completion of your port request. It is therefore advisable that you insert your new SIM as soon as you are notified of port completion.
*In the event that I lose my previous service from the point of porting, would I be unable to make or receive calls until the porting is accomplished in 48 hours?
You will have service from your old network operator until you are notified that porting is completed. You will be required to put in your new SIM to continue to make or receive calls. If for any reason the SMS message was undelivered and you lose service, you should insert your new SIM card from your new service network operator as you may already be active on the new network operator.