First Year Report
National Communications Authority
July 18, 2012
Mobile Number Portability in Ghana - First Year Report - July 18, 2012
Mobile Number Portability (MNP), a system which allows mobile subscribers to change from one network to another without changing any part of their mobile number, was launched in Ghana on July 7, 2011. In the first year of MNP operation, 370,107 mobile numbers have been successfully ported by customers in Ghana.
This represents 1.6% of the total active mobile numbers in Ghana. Each of the mobile networks in Ghana have gained and lost customers through MNP.
The overwhelming majority of customers who have ported have remained on the networks to which they ported, implying satisfaction with the process and the choice they made.
The success rate of porting requests submitted in the first year of operation was 75%, including the early days of operation when the process was still unfamiliar.
Average porting speeds in the 7 - 8 minute range have now been achieved.
The central MNP system is working well but some mobile operators still experience operational and technical problems that remain to be resolved.
We are seeing too many instances of mobile network agents in the field porting customers’ numbers while the customer is being told they are just being given a new SIM.
Between 1992 and 2008, six companies had been licensed to provide mobile service in Ghana. From approximately 2005 onward, growth in the total number of active mobile numbers here demonstrated that the market had become competitive and that Ghanaians had come to view mobile telephony as a necessity rather than a luxury. However, it also became clear that a significant segment of the customer base was reluctant to take advantage of the choices available because their phone number would change when they open an account at another service provider. The expense and inconvenience of informing all their contacts of their new number and changing their stationery, business cards, and advertising messages outweighed their desire to change networks. Many customers opened accounts at two or more networks, which may have alleviated some of the difficulties they encountered at their original network but introduced 1
Mobile Number Portability in Ghana - First Year Report - July 18, 2012 complexities such as carrying multiple phones, swapping SIMs, and having multiple numbers.
The first country to introduce Mobile Number Portability was Singapore in 1997. Many other countries have followed since, with implementations varying in major and minor detail. As one would expect, an examination of their results provided useful guidance in determining which decisions would work well for the consumer and which would not. In Ghana, the mobile licenses issued since 2004 and the Electronics Communications Act 2008 anticipated the introduction of MNP as they contained general language requiring mobile networks to comply if and when it was introduced. By late 2009, as the Authority moved toward a greater consumer orientation and with various competitive market factors such as the number of operators and interconnection function and pricing well established, it became obvious that MNP was the necessary next step. Consultants were engaged and the first stakeholder workshop took place in February, 2010. NCA understood that all the mobile operators had to be involved in every step of the process. The MNP Steering Group and its specialist subgroups was formed in April, 2010. To date, these entities have held over 100 meetings in preparation for, and management of MNP in Ghana. In May 2010, the first version of the Authority’s MNP Policy was released, to act as a guide for the Steering Group’s detail work. The policy captured the key points that would ensure MNP success and support the key principles that porting should be fast, inexpensive, and...