Airtel Ghana has underscored the benefits customers would derive from its services once the Mobile Number Portability operations take off come July 1.

When rolled out, the system would allow mobile subscribers of a particular network to move to a preferred telecom service provider while still maintaining the original number.

At a workshop organised at the Ghana International Press Centre in Accra to educate journalists on the MNP Tuesday, Marketing Director of Airtel Ghana, Oare Ojekere pledged the company’s committment to the introduction of the MNP, saying Airtel was convinced the system was best suited for ensuring that customers were offered relevant products and services.

He added that Airtel customers, in particular, would experience low call rates each day, uncongested network, improved nationwide coverage and best-in-class services when the system is activated.

Mr Bob Palitz, a consultant of the National Communications Authority (NCA), explained that before a customer can switch from one network to the other, the person must first go to the new newtwork agent and request for his number to be ported.

Therefore, if a customer of network X wants to move to network Y, he must first ask network Y to port his number and network Y would then inform network X about the customer’s decision to close his account with X.

Below are processes a customer would go through when trying to port his number:

1. A customer must visit a shop for the network he wants to join, bringing with him the identification which is always required to register a new account (National ID, Passport, Drivers Licence, Voter ID, or National Health Insurance ID) and the phone/SIM he uses on his current network.

2. Staff at the shop will discuss with the customer the features and offers available, as well as prices, fees, charges, phones, SIMs, or any other factor related to joining their network. They will also ask and/or assist the customer to complete a porting request form.

3. Customers would be informed that the only features available to them are those on the new network, and that the features they enjoyed or selected on their current network will no longer be available to them. They should also be told that any credit left on their old account will be gone after they port.

4. The staff will enter the porting request into the system, and will ask/assist the customer to send a free text message to validate the porting request. The customer will receive a text message confirming that the request is being processed.

5. The customer will be provided with his new SIM or phone. He will receive another text message telling him when the porting process is complete, and that he should change to his new SIM or begin using his new phone. At this time, anyone who calls him or sends a text message to him at his phone number will reach him at his new network.

6. The entire process should be completed in much less than 24 hours.

7. From the time the porting request is submitted, until the process is completed, the customer’s old network is not permitted to contact him, especially to discuss the porting process.

8. Porting will only be refused if the customer has not been with his current network for at least 30 days, or has ported within the previous 30 days, or his phone account has already been cut off for non-payment, or reported stolen.

9. Customers should remember to copy or transfer any contacts or phonebook entries they saved in their old SIM or phone. The staff in the new network’s shop should be able to assist in this, if needed.

10. If the customer experiences any problems in receiving or making calls or receiving or sending text messages, he should take the matter up promptly with his new network.

11. After porting is completed, the customer should use recharge/top-up cards for his new network. He is no longer a customer of his former network.

12. Porting does not release a customer from any contractual obligations or debt he owes at his former network. Bill should be paid, and deposits refunded. A customer who received bills for usage will receive a final bill after the porting is completed.

13. The customer’s former network must give him the means to recover any mobile banking or payment money which had been on account there, even after porting.

14. After at least 30 days at his new network, a customer is free to move back to his old network or onward to another network.

Story by Dorcas Efe Mensah/