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KonkNaija Media | May 2, 2016

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Mobile number portability – How much do you know about Etisalat Nigeria?

Now that the competition is fierce in the Nigerian Telecommunication sector. Every player needs grab the market share as a result of the emergence of Mobile Number Portability.

Meanwhile, the average Nigerian knows so little or nothing on the aim and objective of the MNP. On the other hand, operators now scramble for customers but for how long will they do that with poor customer service?

One Mobile network out of the lot lays emphasis on quality customer service. The business focus is mainly customer satisfaction. Etisalat Nigeria has since invested enormously on its human resources making sure customer satisfaction is of top priority.

Etisalat’s customer service department is currently beefed up with professionals, technical capabilities and many more while trainings and re-trainings is in full gear. Customer issues are now being resolved via social media platforms; twitter, facebook and you can even hook up with the company on Linkedin which is a platform for professionals while product educational are in top gear.

In the Shops/Experience Centres you have the Geeks who are experts in device resolutions such as internet modems, Blackberry device etc doing their thing while you enjoy the cozy atmosphere and architectural master piece.

As the Etisalat saying goes; Not just a Network, Its an attitude.

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

MNP (Mobile number portability) is implemented in different ways across the globe. The International and European standard is for a customer wishing to port his/her number to contact the new network (Recipient), which then sends the number portability request (NPR) to the current network (Donor). This is known as ‘Recipient-Led’ porting. The UK & India are the only exceptions to implement the Donor-Led system. The customer wishing to port his/her number is required to contact the Donor to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC), which is then showed to the recipient network to proceed. Once having received the PAC the Recipient continues the port process by contacting the Donor. This form of porting is known as ‘Donor-Led’ and has been criticised by some industry analysts as being inefficient, though prevents MNP scams. It has also been observed that it may act as a customer deterrent as well as allowing the Donor an opportunity of ‘winning-back’ the customer. This might lead to distortion of competition, especially in the markets with new entrants that are yet to achieve scalability of operation.

A significant technical aspect of MNP is related to the routing of calls or mobile messages (SMS, MMS) to a number once it has been ported. There are various flavours of call routing implementation across the globe but the International and European best practice is via the use of a central database (CDB) of ported numbers. A network operator makes copies of the CDB and queries it to find out to which network to send a call. This is also known as All Call Query (ACQ) and is highly efficient and scalable. A majority of the established and upcoming MNP systems across the world are based on this ACQ/CDB method of call routing. One of the very few countries to not use ACQ/CDB is the UK, where once a number has been ported, calls to that number are still routed via the donor network. This is also known as ‘indirect routing’ and is highly inefficient as it is wasteful of transmission and switching capacity. Because of its donor dependent nature, indirect routing also means that if the donor network develops a fault or goes out of business, the customers who have ported numbers out of that network will lose incoming calls to their numbers. The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom completed its extended review of the UK MNP process on 29 November 2007 and mandated that ACQ/CDB be implemented for mobile to mobile ported calls by no later than 1 September 2009.

Prior to March 2008 it took a minimum of 5 working days to port a number in the UK compared to 3.5 working days in Pakistan, 2 hours in USA, as low as 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland, 3 minutes in Australia and even a matter of seconds in New Zealand. On 17 July 2007, Ofcom released its conclusions from the review of the UK MNP and mandated reduction of porting time to 2 working days effective 1 April 2008. On 29 November 2007, Ofcom completed its consultation on further reduction to porting time to 2 hours along with recipient led porting and mandated that near-instant (no more than 2 hours) recipient led porting be implemented by no later than 1 September 2009.

In a decentralised model of MNP, a FNR (Flexible Number Register) may be used to manage a database of ported out/ported in numbers for call routing.

Service providers and carriers who route messages and voice calls to MNP-enabled countries might use HLR query services to find out the correct network of a mobile phone number. A number of such services exist, which query the operator’s home location register (HLR) over the SS7 signalling network in order to determine the current network of a specified mobile phone number prior to attempted routing of messaging or voice traffic.

Etisalat Nigeria customers should be prepared to experience a mobile network like no other. This had been the tradition in the last five years at Etisalat Nigeria and the company will not cease to exceed customer’s expectation, providing world class customer care and quality/reliable/dependable network.