Nigeria telecoms: Porting of Subscribers rise by 216% as consumers decry poor services

The number of subscribers leaving their mobile telecommunications service providers for other mobile networks increased by 216.09 per cent within a year period, investigation has shown.  The industry recorded a total of 20, 476 incoming porting activities in October 2019, compared to 6,478 in October 2018, data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission have shown.

This shows a difference of 13,998 incoming porting activities, reflecting an increase of 216.09 per cent within a period of one year. On the other hand, outgoing porting activities stood at 9,801 as of October 2019 while the number stood at 6,362 as of October 2018. This shows an increase of 54.06 per cent within a year period.

Mobile number portability was introduced by the NCC in 2013 to encourage competition and ensure that consumers continue to enjoy quality service on all mobile networks.

On the incoming porting table, the NCC revealed that Airtel gained the highest number of customers through porting, 11,868 customers in October; 9mobile added 6,410 users; Globacom gained 335 subscribers and 1,863 subscribers joined MTN network in the same period. The data showed that 4,696 customers left Airtel Nigeria network in October, while 1,789 subscribers deserted Globacom; MTN lost 1,786 subscribers and 1,530 users moved from 9mobile to other networks in the same month.

Incoming or inward porting refers to the movement of subscribers from a service provider’s network to another service provider’s network. Outgoing or outward porting means the movement of subscribers to a service provider’s network from another provider’s network.

Meanwhile, the NCC has asked the Mobile Number Operators to consider imposing a 45-day port restriction period for newly activated SIM cards. The commission gave this advice after conducting a comprehensive compliance audit of the Mobile Number Portability Platform from September 4 to 6, 2019 in Lagos.

In view of the findings of the audit, NCC advised the MNP Industry Technical Working Group to discuss the possibility of the 45-day port restriction period. The commission also reviewed other provisions of the MNP that enabled the subscribers to leave their network operator for another one.

It said the audit aimed to examine the level of success of National Porting Clearinghouse’s migration of the MNP Platform to its new technical partners, Porting Access Limited and conduct an in-depth review of planned or unplanned technical faults that occurred within the period under review.

The commission also called on the Mobile Network Operators to remove the power to carry out ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ from their front-end agents to mitigate the emerging trend of abuse of laid down processes and procedures.


The NCC also directed Mobile Network Operators to ensure the fields for inputting MSISDN in porting request forms which had only 10 digits. Punch