Nigerians will be able to switch between the four GM operators and retain their phone numbers.
The Nigerian Communications Commission said on Saturday it would launch the much- awaited Mobile Number Portability, MNP, service on March 25.
Reuben Muoka, Head, Media and Public Relations of the Commission, said that contrary to the initial announcement of the launch on March 26, the regulatory body had finalised arrangements to begin the service a day earlier.
“It is going to be launched commercial on March 25 and with the initial start-off, only the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators will be porting.
“Telecommunication subscribers can only port among the GSM operators, and subsequently, the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators will be part of it.
“As we know, both are mobile but with somewhat different technologies; we wanted to take it bit by bit to ensure that it is effective.
“As soon as the GSM takes off, it will not be long before the CDMA also begins its operation on MNP,” he said.
According to him, MNP service will enable consumers to choose or do away with their GSM service provider and still retain their individual numbers.
He said a service provider, who tried to woo consumers that had submitted request forms to another service provider, would be penalised.
“It will deepen competition among operators and improve service quality,” he said.
Mr. Muoka said, however, that the service would not be made available to consumers who had not registered their SIM cards.