Cell C big winner in number portability


Cell C has been the biggest net beneficiary of mobile number portability. Nearly a quarter of a million consumers have ported their numbers to Cell C’s network since number portability was introduced in November 2006, latest statistics show. Mobile number portability was introduced to allow consumers to switch between cellular networks without losing their telephone numbers.

The figures, which are not published officially but have been leaked to TechCentral by a source in the telecommunications industry, show that Cell C has won nearly 240 000 subscribers to its network through consumers porting their numbers. At the other end of the spectrum, just over 1 000 people have ported to Telkom’s new mobile network, 8ta. However, 8ta has only been in the market since August 2010. The figures exclude customers who ported, and then ported back to their original operator.

Since portability was introduced, just over 200,000 people have ported to Vodacom. MTN is in third place with about 130,000 subscribers switching to its network.

Cell C’s investment in a new national network may have been a factor in the operator convincing customers to port to its network. Also, smaller operators like Cell C tend to benefit more from portability than their bigger rivals.