Number portability is a regulated facility which enables subscribers of publicly available telephone services (including mobile services) to change their service provider whilst keeping their existing telephone number. Its purpose is to foster consumer choice and effective competition by enabling subscribers to switch between providers without the costs and inconvenience of changing telephone number. – Ofcom UK.
Having used this feature in the past in another part of the world, I can testify to its benefits as a consumer. At the end of a very expensive contract with my old provider (Network 1), I found a plan I liked on a rival network (Network 2), and asked them what I needed to do to transfer my old number to this plan. I was asked to obtain a PAC code from my current service provider, which I did. I have to say, it was at this point that my old service provider tried to woo me back into another contract by offering a reduced tarriff rate, but it was too late. The smoke had cleared from my eyes. Within 24 hours, I was using my old number on Network 2. From experience as a consumer, I chave observed that the effects of having this facility are wide-reaching and deep-rooted for all stakeholders involved.
For us, this means that there is no requirement to remain with an underperforming phone network. According to a recent poll, most Nigerian consumers would definitely change their service providers provided they could keep their phone number.