South African mobile and fixed-line telephone customers seem to be generally doing well, thanks to the number portability regulation giving them more options: to choose when to stay or dump either Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom.
But can you believe it, according to the Number Portability Company (NPC) the average number of numbers ported every month is 76 058?
The low number of customers porting their numbers could indicate that consumers are happy with their network operator – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom.
Number Portability is a process that enables end-users to retain their telephone numbers when changing from one network operator to another.
From November 2006 to end July 2020, more than 12,9 million subscribers ported their mobile numbers, according to the NPC.
NPC was supposed to protect the customer by enabling him or her to vote with their feet when they are not happy with the Telco services, seems concerned with service woes.
The NPC is owned jointly by Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Liquid Telecom, each of which owns 20% and has board seats. The company was founded in 2006 to enable customers to have the ability to retain their phone numbers when they switch networks.
Consumers may be happy with the packages, data and call rates provided by the big four operators or are frustrated by the porting process.
The ability to port numbers was to give customers more options, but its arrival in 2006 proved to be a damp squib.
The NPC administers a Central Reference Database (CRDB) linked to the operators via a sophisticated network interface.
The CRDB is an administrative database which is used to track all porting process to effect the porting process from the initial porting request through to providing the new routing data to the operators so that necessary network routing can be updated.