Ghana’s smooth debut with number portability
The National Communications Authority (NCA) has announced that at the end of the tenth full day of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Ghana -5,631 subscribers had successfully moved from one mobile service provider to another while retaining their mobile number.
According to the statement, NCA's analysis of the data for these first ten days shows that of the porting requests completed: 12% were completed in 15 minutes or less; 22% were completed in 30 minutes or less; 36% were completed in 1 hour or less; 72% were completed in 4 hours or less; 14% completed between 4 and 12 hours; 13% completed between 12 and 24 hours; and less than 1% were completed in more than 24 hours.
The fastest port recorded so far in Ghana took place in a mere 1 minute, 31 seconds. The average porting time for the first ten days was 4 hours, 17 minutes, it added.
The statement emphasised that: "This performance compares very favorably with recent MNP implementations in other countries, such as India, where porting a mobile number can take up to seven days, and Kenya, where it can take up to 48 hours.
"Even in Europe, porting can take considerably longer than it does in Ghana. Spain has just announced its intention to reduce porting times next year from the current four days to one".
During this full scale nation-wide launch, a number of challenges have arisen. Some porting applications which could not be submitted because no validation text message was received; the causes are under investigation.
In other cases the customer's original service provider declined to authorise the porting request, usually because the customer had not been with that network for the minimum 30 days required. Many of the several cases in which a request was incorrectly declined have already been resolved.
Ghana mobile phone subscribers are reminded that when they sign the porting request form and send the validation text message, they are moving their number from their current mobile service provider to a new one.
They are closing their account at the old network, and when the porting is completed, they will no longer be using the old SIM. It appears that in some cases, the customer did not clearly understand this, and believed they were receiving an additional number.