Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mobile Number Portability

My mind in overdrive led me to write this post. How does Mobile Number Portability work anyways? Yeah, I know. You get to port your mobile phone number to another network while maintaining your original number including the original code i.e. 024/054, 027/057, 026 or 020. Great! Wonderful! But what happens to all the intra-network promotions?

E.g. MTN has its MTN Zone and most of the other networks have reduced call rates to phone numbers within their network at certain times of the day. Airtel for instance charges a whole lot less after 10pm to calls placed to other Airtel numbers plus there's also 8 free text messages to all other Airtel numbers everyday. My thought process might not make much sense right now to everyone but let me break it down.

Imagine I have Kwaku Doe's MTN number on my phone. Kwaku Doe ports to Airtel and doesn't inform me. I see on my phone that I get to enjoy 1pesewa per minute on MTN Zone to all MTN numbers. So, I call Kwaku Doe who has now ported from MTN to Airtel but then I don't know about him porting. Do I still get to enjoy MTN Zone with Kwaku Doe? Or do I get charged like I was calling an Airtel number? Does the wonderful lady who always comes on to remind you your credit is almost done, come on to tell me the number has been ported to a different network? Do I get notifications informing me when any of my contacts ports their phone number to another network? Or is it up to the other person to let me know they have ported? Some people will genuinely forget or for "mafioso" reasons they won't tell you.

On Airtel. I get 8 free text messages to other Airtel numbers. I decide to text Kwaku Doe's Airtel number. Unknowing to me, Kwaku Doe has ported his Airtel number to Tigo. Is the text message still free or do I pay like I'm texting to a Tigo number? Do I get to find this out after I've made the call or sent the text and realised how much I got charged (that wouldn't be fair though)? Some of us only make certain calls or send certain texts when we know the call/text is virtually free.

I understand this whole Mobile Number Portability thing and I believe its a good thing. At least it will introduce some level of competition to the mobile telephony industry. But there are some issues which I believe the industry should address. Imagine me calling up someone at night thinking the call is virtually free and falling asleep on the phone. I'd wake up with all my call credit done!

I'm not particularly picking on MTN and Airtel as it may seem but those are the two networks I use so I am very aware of most of their promotions.

1 comment:

  1. Mobile subscribers can access to the MNP In India service. After a long while and many postponement, the MNP is finally here for good. All Mobile service providers are already started advertising the MNP service. Number Portability