Airtel fires the first shot, says it’s “the readiest network” as Nigeria launches mobile phone number portability

Posted by News Express | 20 April 2013 | 4,480 times

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Two days ahead of the launch of mobile phone number portability in Nigeria, leading telecomm operator Airtel Nigeria this afternoon declared itself not only fully set but also “the readiest network” for the scheme.

Under the number portability scheme being introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), customers of the country’s four mobile companies are free to change network at no cost while still retaining their favourite existing number irrespective of the network from which they originally obtained the number.

“We are not just ready for mobile number portability; we are the readiest network for it,” declared Airtel Nigeria’s Vice President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Emeka Oparah, at a media briefing at Lagos Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja.

Airtel’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, did not only echo the claim but went ahead to back it up with facts.

“We are so excited about mobile number portability,” Ogunsanya said. “This is something we asked for. In 2010 when Airtel was launched in Abuja, we asked for number portability as we’re aware that most people are reluctant to change numbers even when they would like to change network, because the number is like their identity.”

Ogunsanya disclosed that Airtel Nigeria has invested $1.5 billion in infrastructure upgrade in readiness for the number portability era.

“We are the best-placed operator to implement number portability,” he said, adding: “We are the only network in this country with HD capability. We are the first to do field launch of 4G and we have the best network coverage as we cover many more local governments in the country.”

The Airtel Nigeria CEO saluted the NCC for midwifing the number portability regime, saying that it will reduce the burden of subscribers “because there is no need for anyone to carry two or three phones anymore.”

Ogunsanya disclosed that Airtel has enough capacity to absorb those who wish to change to the network and looks forward to “a level-playing field where the best network wins.” He predicted that with the new scheme, the industry is entering a new phase in which “you innovate or die” as a mobile telecomm operator.   

Speaking at the media briefing, Osondu Nwokoro, Airtel Nigeria’s Director, Regulatory Affairs and Special Projects, assured those who wish to migrate to Airtel from other networks that the process would be completed within 48 hours at no cost whatsoever to them.

Also speaking, Sawyat Rahaman, Airtel Nigeria’s Senior Manager, Business Excellence, gave an undertaking that all those who switch to Airtel under the new regime would be guaranteed the very best services.

•Photo: Airtel Nigeria’s MD & CEO, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya.

Source: News Express

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