Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over the weekend, said it had appointed a consortium of three companies to implement the proposed number portability services which will allow Nigerian phone users move from one network to another without losing their numbers.
The consortium of Interconnect/Saab Grintek/Telecordia was announced by the commission as the preferred vendor for the service after the technical, financial and demo presentations by the bidding vendors.
Number portability will allow subscribers move to alternate networks when they are no longer enjoying the quality of services being obtained from their current operators or when they are no longer happy with the tariffs offered by their current subscribers. They will still retain their original numbers irrespective of the new network from which they may be obtaining their services.
The company will be responsible for the set up and implementation of number portability clearing house and provide mobile number portability solution administration in the country within six months of receiving the licence with a testing period of two months.
Members of the consortium will execute a tripartite agreement that will indicate their specific responsibilities in the process, with the regulator approving such agreement to tally with the conditions of the provision of the service.
NCC will mandate the consortium to ensure local content participation and skills transfer were entrenched in the process during the implementation of the five-year licence.
The consortium is also expected to configure the technical solution for number portability in line with the consultation documents as earlier published by the commission, and the solution is to be customised to meet specific process needs and other requirements of the Nigerian network operators.
It will be recalled that NCC had earlier indicated that the Number Portability programme will be the next logical step following the SIM card registration exercise, as it was necessary to know the identity of subscribers who are porting their numbers at different times from one network to another.