MNP in Ghana: over 6,000 mobile subscribers ported so far

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) launched in Ghana on 7th July 2011, enabling mobile subscribers to move from one mobile network to another, whilst still retaining their full mobile number. It has generated some buzz in the Ghana’s mobile communications sector with all the mobile providers offering mouth-watering incentives to woo subscribers from other networks whilst keeping their existing subscribers.

As of this morning (18th July 2011), over 6,000 subscribers had ported from one mobile network to another, with most of them being hassle-free, according to the statistics released by the industry regulator National Communications Authority (NCA). Clearly, Ghana had learnt from previous implementations of MNP in other countries around the world, and had carefully planned the MNP system to be very successful by avoiding all potential pitfalls. Whilst, it has not been 100% perfect, the mobile operators are cooperating with the NCA to quickly resolve the problems as they come, with some operators going ahead to open a special desk to handle MNP issues.

There are 5 active mobile networks in Ghana: MTN, Tigo, Vodafone, Airtel and Expresso while the licensed Glo Mobile is yet to begin operations.

Find the full press release below:



The National Communications Authority (NCA) is pleased to announce that as of Saturday night, July 16, at the end of the tenth full day of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Ghana, 5,631 subscribers had successfully moved from one mobile service provider to another while retaining their mobile number. By Monday morning, the number had surpassed 6,000.

NCA’s analysis of the data for these first ten days shows that of the porting requests completed:

  • 12% were completed in 15 minutes or less
  • 22% were completed in 30 minutes or less
  • 36% were completed in 1 hour or less
  • 72% were completed in 4 hours or less
  • 14% completed between 4 and 12 hours
  • 13% completed between 12 and 24 hours
  • Less than 1% were completed in more than 24 hours

The fastest port recorded so far in Ghana took place in a mere 1 minute, 31 seconds. The average porting time for the first ten days was 4 hours, 17 minutes.

This performance compares very favorably with recent MNP implementations in other countries, where porting a mobile number can take up to seven days. Even in Europe, porting can take considerably longer than it does in Ghana, and the EU is only now moving toward the 24 hour maximum that applied in Ghana from launch.

Ghana also stands out by another measure: thanks to the collaborative and concerted effort by all involved, Mobile Number Portability moved from decision to launch in just 17 months. Ghana is also among the very few countries which have launched the service in the month first promised.

Ghana mobile phone subscribers are reminded that when they sign the porting request form and send the validation text message, they are moving their number from their current mobile service provider to a new one. They are closing their account at the old network, and when the porting is completed, they will no longer be using the old SIM. It appears that in some cases, the customer did not clearly understand this, and believed they were receiving an additional number. We therefore wish to summarize again the steps taken in the porting process:

  1. If you wish to leave or quit your current mobile service provider but keep the same phone number, you should go to a shop or agent for the service provider you wish to join, bringing your photo ID and your phone.
  2. You will be asked to sign the porting request form, your ID information will be recorded, and you will be asked to send a free text message to validate the request.
  3. As soon as the agent or shop has submitted your request via computer and you have sent the validation text message, you will receive a text message. “Your porting request is being processed. Thank you.”
  4. If the request was not submitted by computer or the validation text message you sent was not received, then two days later you will receive a text message, “Your porting request could not be submitted.” In this case, you should contact the service provider you intended to join to learn what has gone wrong with the process.
  5. If for any of the few permitted reasons your current service provider declines to approve your request, you will receive a text message, “Your porting request was not approved. Please contact your new operator for details.” You should contact the network you intended to join.
  6. If all goes well, in less than 24 hours you should receive a text message, “Your number is being ported now. Please switch to the chip or service from your new operator.” However, if you do not receive that message and your current SIM stops working, it is possible that the porting request has been completed, but you did not receive the text message. In that case, you should try your new SIM to see if it can now make and receive calls.
  7. Any problems or inquiries during or after the porting process should be directed at the service provider you joined or attempted to join.

NCA is pleased with the public response to MNP so far, and we are diligently monitoring the process to ensure that rules are followed and that the process is serving the public interest as intended. In the future, we intend to release general statistics on a monthly basis.

Members of Facebook are invited to join our group page, “MNP Ghana”, to learn more and join the discussion.




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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


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