Nigerian MNP set for September
Nigeria’s SIM registration cut-off date has been pegged as March, after which mobile number portability will likely begin in September.
Dr. Eugene Juwah, the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned that the national SIM registration “mopping up exercise” is drawing to a close, and that data harmonization is almost complete.
He noted that the process was taking longer than expected due to the huge volumes of data, but said this harmonization process would likely end next week, after which anyone with an unregistered SIM card would have just 30 days to register.
Any unregistered SIMs will then be barred from the networks until they are registered.
Juwah said mobile number portability (MNP), the next logical step in the process, was set to be launched in September this year. MNP allows users to switch between operators without losing their mobile numbers.
The regulator announced has selected a consortium of three companies – Interconnect, Saab Grintek and Telcordia – to manage the implementation of MNP. The consortium will be responsible for the set up and implementation of the MNP Clearing House and administer MNP in the country.
Juwah said the licenses would be issued to Mobile Number Portability operators in Nigeria this week, after which they will be given six months to build infrastructure with an extra two months to test facilities.
“We expect that most likely, the number portability services would start September this year, barring delays. The licence is quite clear on that,” he said.