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Jun 10, 2015

ECOWAS telecom experts meet in Accra to study Ghana’s mobile number portability

Telecommunications experts and regulators from ECOWAS countries are meeting in Accra to study Ghana’s successful implementation of the mobile number portability policy.

The team will learn from Ghana how to ensure the provision of quality services in the implementation of the mobile number portability policy.

The workshop has brought together telecommunications experts, regulators, stakeholders and operators from Togo, Benin, Liberia, Guinea, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

The programme is being organised by the West African Telecommunications Regulators Association, in collaboration with the National Communications Authority (NCA).

The study will help stakeholders in their quest to effectively implement similar policies in their respective countries, while ensuring the provision of quality services.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the five-day workshop in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the West African Telecommunications Regulators Association, Mr El Maman Laminou, commended Ghana for championing the cause of implementing mobile number portability in ECOWAS.

He said the meeting was an opportunity for participants to familiarise themselves with how the successes of Ghana were achieved, as well as the challenges that were encountered, to enhance implementation in their respective countries.

The mobile number portability policy was launched in Ghana in July 2011. It allows mobile telephony customers to move from one service provider to another while retaining their old mobile numbers.

Over two million numbers ported

In his welcoming remarks, the Deputy Director-General of the NCA, Mr Albert Enninful, said mobile number portability had become an essential tool for deepening healthy competition in the telecommunications industry.

He said that was because it afforded customers a very unique opportunity and choice to move from one operator to another without having to change their mobile telephony numbers.

Mr Enninful said Ghana’s success in implementing the mobile number portability policy could not be understated, adding that “in less than four years since the introduction of the policy in the country, the service has gained momentum, with over two million successful porting requests processed as of February 2015, with the process taking less than six minutes each”.

He described that as a remarkable feat in the West African sub-region.

He said that Ghana was more than ready to share its experiences in the successful implementation of the number portability policy with all interested ECOWAS member states.

In a statement read on his behalf, the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, said telecommunications regulators in West Africa shared common challenges with regard to improving telecommunications services, as well as generating revenue to support socio-economic development in their various countries.

“Meetings such as this afford us the opportunity to learn from our experiences and also agree on common ways to improve telecommunications in our respective countries,” he added.

He said Ghana’s success in the implementation of the mobile number portability could largely be attributed to the initial preparation and the effective collaboration with all stakeholders within the sector.  –