Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is Ghana Ready For Mobile Number Portability [MNP]?

What comes to mind at the mention of "Mobile Number Portability"? Have you ever wondered why you couldn't choose your own number and use it on any network? How would you feel, if you could now do so? A time is coming, when you can do all that… Hurray..!!!

For your information; the country's telecommunication service provider Vodafone Ghana, is pushing for the implementation of Mobile Number Portability also known as MNP in Ghana. Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.

Unlike what Zain Telecommunication did upon arriving in Ghana a couple of months ago; when they enabled customers of other networks to register their numbers on the Zain network with the Zain's 026 prefixing, MNP allows a customer to move from Vodafone, for instance, with his 020XXXXXX number to Zain, still maintaining the 020 prefix.

Currently, Ghana has six GSM Mobile Operators and the implementation of MNP would give customers/subscribers the choice and flexibility to be on any network they want. That means, I can have a number [0244-101010] on MTN moved to the Zain network and still maintain the prefix and the rest of the numbers.

From my personal observation, I don't think the necessary equipments and technical skills are in place for the implementation of this unique service. Four out of the six GSM Operators in the country namely [Zain, Kasapa Telecom, Glo Mobile and Vodafone-Ghana] have openly declared their support for its implementation but only MTN is very mute on this subject and rather asking the National Communication Authority for comments on the implementation of MNP.

Why wouldn't they be mute when they know they would end up losing all their customers to the other GSM Operators? Even though, they are the market leaders with a subscriber base of about 5million Ghanaians, I think the news of the MNP is going to bring them crushing to the ground.

Major Don-Chebe, Head of Corporate Communications from Vodafone Ghana said; every mature telecom market in the world is implementing MNP and he doesn't see the reason why Ghana, with as many as six GSM Operators and a penetration level of more than 55% [55 per cent] of its population shouldn't implement MNP. He also stressed that, when MNP is implemented, customers who are trapped on other networks would now be freed and can now enjoy quality of service from any of the GSM Networks of their choice in the country.

This technology is not expensive as somebody would be thinking. The advantages outrun the disadvantages in many ways.

What do you think of this new initiative? Do you think, it should be pushed and implemented? Do you think, Ghana is ready for its implementation? Do we have the necessary tools, experts to handle this new idea? How would this help you when it's implemented?


Edward of PathGhana said...

This issue has been discussed for some years now. As you said it will help the average consumer if MNP is implemented in Ghana. I however do not see how beneficial this service will be to the normal Ghanaian (and I mean normal Ghanaian). A great part of the population in Ghana rely on only call and SMS services. Many even do not pay attention to the other services such as PUSH Mail, Video calls, voice-mails etc. The MNP might end up benefiting the upper half mobile phone users in Ghana, anyway that is just my opinion!!

mike said...

I am not ghanian but i think change in this jet age is something we all need.

Mac-Jordan - AccraConscious said...

@ Mike; I'm very glad you we are thinking in the same direction. CHANGE is all we need for now. When MNP is implemented, I believe a whole lot of mess will be taken care of. Let's wait and see what happens.. ;)

Worlali Senyo said...

@Mac-J for your information the Minister of Communications today 23rd February, 2010 says the MNP will be in operation by 2012. So we should keep this in our dairies to make sure they do implement it as planned. Just my 5 pesewas.

Mac-Jordan - AccraConscious said...

@ Worlali Senyo; Thanks for the info from the Minister of Communications. Will definitely bookmark this date and follow up..

Edward of PathGhana said...

Years down the line, I have put up a post on this issue. I was inspired by a wonderful Mobile Monday session last month. Read more on my blog