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Business News of Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Source: GNA

Vodafone says it's ready to receive porting requests from July 1st

Accra, June 8, GNA - Vodafone Ghana says it is ready to receive porting requests from mobile phone users come July 1st when Ghana introduces Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

Mr James Wild, Vodafone MNP Programme Manager, who told journalists on Wednesday in Accra said, the company had completed the installations of its routing platform and porting system and was currently undertaking inter-operator testing.

MNP allows a customer to quit using one network and become a customer of a different network without losing his original mobile number.

As part of the education process on the MNP to the public and stakeholders, Vodafone Ghana organized a day's seminar to upgrade the knowledge of journalists to help to educate the public.

The National Communication Authority (NCA), the regulator, is spearheading the introduction of the MNP, which had been said would revolutionize Ghana's mobile telecom industry.

The objective is to reduce barriers to changing networks by providing mobile phone users the freedom to choose a network.

Mr Wild said Vodafone so far was satisfied with the process reiterating its assurance that the company would in no way transfer the cost of porting to customers.

"Vodafone pays all porting charges for customers," he said. The company receiving the new customer porting his number pays Porting XS (Access) Ghana, the company in charge of facilitating smooth porting, a fee of $2.5 as porting fee.

Mr Wild said a customer, who wanted to port his number to Vodafone, has to walk to a Vodafone shop or retailer to open an account with his valid ID, phone and to sign a porting form.

The customer sends a text message to MNP shot code after which he receives a text message on the progress report of port. When that happens, Vodafone (the recipient network) closes his or her account with the original network (donor network) on behalf of the customer and registers him with a new SIM.

This process can take between 15 to 30 minutes however a maximum time of 24 hours is set for porting in Ghana.

Mr Bob Palitz, NMC Consultant on the MNP, said Ghana's process begun in February 2010, saying 93to be able to launch 16 months later might justbe a world record."

"Ghana's process has been very transparent and has enjoyed tremendous support and cooperation from all the networks in the country," Mr Palitz added.

He said all networks in Ghana are connected to a central system which is under an NCA authorization by Porting Access Ghana that coordinates the porting requests.

Manager of Porting XS Ghana, Saqib Nazir, said the company has 10 years experience in Porting worldwide and currently coordinating the process in Kenya.