The National Communications Authority (NCA) introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP) on 7 July 2011. We are pleased to report that one year after MNP was launched, a total of 370,107 mobile numbers had been moved between networks by their owners.
MNP is a permanent system which allows Ghanaian mobile customers to move from one mobile service provider to another whilst retaining their entire mobile number.
At the inception of MNP, customers were promised a maximum porting time of 24 hours. Very quickly, the average time to complete a porting request reduced to 5 hours, 21 minutes in the first month of MNP operation, and subsequently to 2 hours, 37 minutes by April, 2012. At that time, an analysis of available data demonstrated that when porting requests were handled by properly-configured automated systems at each mobile network, they could be done even faster. Accordingly, NCA and the mobile operators agreed a set of performance goals for each step of the process. By June 2012, average porting time had dropped to 1 hour, 24 minutes. The most recent data available to us today shows typical porting times between 2 to 22 minutes, with average in the range of 7 to 8 minutes. This means that a request can often be submitted and the entire process completed while the customer is at his new network’s premises.
Mobile customers who wish to change networks without changing their number need only bring their mobile phone (with SIM) and an ID to a shop or agent of the network they wish to join. It is important, however, for the customer to understand that they will be leaving their current network. Any remaining credit in that account will be lost, and their old SIM will stop working. Customers are also reminded to copy any contact numbers they have stored on their old SIM, though it is usually possible to do this even after porting was completed and the SIM deactivated.
NCA has received complaints about agents in the field, acting on behalf of various mobile networks, misinforming or deceiving customers regarding the porting process. While we work with the mobile networks to bring their agents to order, we wish to caution the public regarding stories they may hear, such as:
“We are just giving you an additional SIM, and you will be able to use both your old and new SIMs. Give me your phone so I can register your new SIM.”
“We have a system so you can have the same number on both networks at the same time.”
“Network A and Network B have merged, so you can have SIMs from both networks.”
No networks have merged in Ghana. There is NO system that will allow you to have the same number on two networks at the same time. When you sign the porting request form, you agree that your new network can close your account at your old network, and your old SIM will definitely stop working when the porting request is completed. If you do not wish to leave your current network, then you do not wish to port and you should not sign the form or hand your phone to an agent to do anything with it.
The customer’s new network is responsible to keep the porting customer informed as to the progress of the porting request and to resolve any porting or other account problems that may occur, even after it is completed. However, if that network is unable to resolve problems to the customer’s satisfaction, NCA can be contacted through the following means:
NCA appreciates the effort and resources given to our successful MNP implementation by all mobile operators and by the central service provider, Porting Access Ghana Limited. We look forward to the continued contribution of MNP to mobile consumer empowerment.