Porting – MTN Is Biggest Loser, Etisalat Biggest Gainer
ABUJA – MTN Nigeria has taken a big hit by recording 49 per cent of the overall subscribers that have switched service providers under the recently introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP) scheme, according to figures released this week by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
With over 114 million active phone lines in Nigeria, mobile phone subscribers now have the freedom to switch from any non-performing operator and still retain their numbers with the introduction of number porting, NCC said when the scheme was launched last April.
On the same day of number porting launch, MTN, the largest network by subscriber numbers, launched its widely celebrated “Saka Don Port” campaign.
In the controversial TV commercial, MTN used an actor popularly known as Saka, who hitherto featured in TV commercials for rival Etisalat Nigeria, to promote its number porting campaign, urging subscribers to migrate to its network.
The Saka Don Port video by MTN got rave reviews and several wannabes, including a YouTube animation, which was to further trigger mixed reactions from industry market watchers.
Figures released by NCC showed that Etisalat may have emerged the big winner in the number porting duel between the two mobile phone companies as it recorded the biggest gain of 44 per cent in the first month of porting in the country, reported TechonologyTimes, an online ICT publication.
NCC Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said number porting had deepened competition so far and given subscribers a choice to switch networks without losing their unique numbers, which he cited as one of the gains of the milestone 12th year of commercial roll out of GSM services in Nigeria in August 2001.
Ojobo said within the first month after the April launch of number porting, among an overall number of subscribers that switched service providers in the telecoms market, MTN topped the losers table when it recorded a 49 per cent switch to other networks in May.
Globacom followed MTN by recording losses of 23 per cent; Airtel Nigeria was number three with overall losses of 17 per cent while Etisalat Nigeria came last on the losers table with 11 per cent for May figures.
– THIS DAY