Etisalat claims 50% of MNP moves

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria has announced that 50% of the subscribers who have ported so far in Nigeria’s Mobile Number Portability (MNP) scheme have ported to its network. MNP was launched by the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) more than one month ago.

Meanwhile, the NCC and Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Limited, an independent firm contracted by the NCC to serve as clearing house for the scheme, said they have not made any data available to members of the public.

The telco said that seven weeks into MNP in the country: “Etisalat (is) already taking a huge lead, with almost 50% of ported numbers coming its way. This revelation was made after collating the successfully ported numbers at the end of the sixth week of the launch of the scheme and shows that Etisalat had almost 50% of ported numbers so far.”

According to a statement, the Chief Commercial Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar, disclosed this without giving details of the actual figures of ported numbers. He said: “I can tell you that Etisalat Nigeria has gained almost 50% of the total figure of ported numbers so far. This is a clear indication that the Nigerian consumers have made their choice based on current realities on ground. We set out early in our business to ensure that we developed products and services that suit the lifestyle of all our target customers. We have also ensured that we have a reliable network to accommodate existing and new customers and these efforts have been recognized by the NCC and other stakeholders in the telecoms industry.”

But the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tony Ojobo, said the agency is yet to make any data available to the public. He said any operator that is making any claim was free to do so, adding that it was all in the spirit of competition.

Ojobo explained that the MNP scheme was beginning yield the desired dividends as it has engendered competition in the industry, arguing that it was for that reason that it was launched in the country. 

The Chief Operating Officer of Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Limited, Uche Onwudiwe, said the firm does not release data to operators but to the NCC, adding that it has done just that.

Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, the dominant operator in the voice segement, Akinwale Goodluck, said recently that it was premature for any operator to make claims on the number of ported numbers into its network. Like Ojobo, he argued that it was not the total number of people that port that is important but the fact that customers have been given the freedom to opt out of the network of a non-performing operator.

Explaining why Etisalat has become the darling of Nigerian subscribers, Ammar cited the last quality of service indicators for mobile operators released by the NCC shortly before the launch of MNP as a clear indication that Etisalat was ready for business. The report shows that Etisalat met all the KPI targets as signed in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Drop Call Rate (DCR), Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR), Traffic Channel Congestion (TCHcong) and Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCHcong). This has even been acknowledged by the regulator which has given it different awards.

The CEO of Etisalat, Steven Evans, told ICT editors in Lagos recently that about 90% of its subscriber base comes from the youth segment of the country. He said the ‘young’ telco will continue to invest massively to redefine the experience of customers on its network.

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