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Porting: Change Your Line To Any Network Without Changing Your Number

Porting: Change Your Line To Any Network Without Changing Your Number

Do you know you can change your line to any network without changing your number?

Though, there is no gainsaying the fact that almost everybody who makes use of a phone for voice calls, internet surfing and the likes has experienced poor network before.

You too, I’m sure, must have experienced poor network.

So, it is an understandable fact that you can get poor network sometimes if you are in Nigeria.

But that should be one of the issues that 5G network, as well as Elon Musk’s Starlink will solve right?

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Where MTN, Airtel, Glo or 9Mobile can’t provide better services, with 5G, they can.

Or, Starlink could provide services that won’t be plagued with poor network?

Well, that is left for Musk to prove when Starlink begins operation in Nigeria.

However, if poor service has come to be associated with your current network, despite the location and time, then porting to a new network could be your solution.

Therefore, are you among those who usually complain about the poor services of your network providers?

Are you also scared of changing your mobile number, like buying a new line from another network provider?

Why not? Since doing so could mean that your contacts will no longer have your number except you call them individually with your new line to inform them of your porting?

Imagine that you are currently using a 9Mobile line, or an MTN, Alrtel or Glo line?

Then you discover that any of the networks provides better services than the one you are currently using.

But, do you have to stick to your network with poor service just to retain your line?

What if I remind you that you don’t have to keep using that network?

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All you need do is just port to another network, say from MTN to Airtel or vice versa.

Or you could port from Glo to 9Mobile or vice versa.

Yes, you can do this and still retain your mobile line. That way, your contacts will still have your line and can still reach you.

What you should know:

Keep in mind that poor services from networks sometimes become too much if you are in some locations, like in the hinterlands.

Imagine travelling to the village where network strength is poor.

I remember a friend of mine who would have to climb a tree to get better service from a particular network provider.

Getting a new line from another network is a no-go area for him because, he would simply ask: “how about my contacts?

Also, a tweep with handle, @realmarvino, asked followers on Twitter which of the networks (MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9Mobile) has better services.

Those who responded mentioned different network providers depending on the gratifications they get from such network providers.

While some said 9Mobile has the best service, others said its Airtel. Some other followers said Glo while others said MTN.

This shows that many Nigerians are still not getting the desired quality services they need from network operators.

But, why can’t you just change your network to any one of your choice without needing a new mobile number?

Well, it will interest you to know that you can actually change your mobile number away from the original network operator.

You can do this through what is called porting.

With porting, you can change your MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9Mobile lines to the one you prefer and still retain your number.

What Is Mobile Number Portability (MNP)?

The Mobile Number Portability or MNP, is a service that enables network users to switch networks without losing their cellular phone numbers.

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, launched the MNP for GSM subscribers in April 2013.

NCC introduced the service to “promote competition, improve quality of service and ensure that consumers continue to enjoy good experience on the mobile networks.”

Benefits of Mobile Number Portability:

First, you can migrate from one mobile service provider to another without changing your mobile phone number.

What it means is that with this service, you can choose to end your relationship with your current network service provider if you are not satisfied with its network services.

Also, note that all network service operators in Nigeria – MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile – provide this service.

How to port:

First, if you want to port from one mobile service provider to another, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the customer care office, retail shop or outlet of your chosen new service provider to request to port your number.

This means that you cannot port your number via phone calls or text. You must visit the outlet in person.

So, only real-time porting of numbers is allowed.

  1. Make sure you visit the outlet with your valid means of identification. Go with your passport, Voter’s card, driver’s license or an official identity card.
  2. Although the outlet can use a webcam to capture your image in the absence of proper identification documents.
  3. The new network you are porting to will verify the authenticity of your identity to ensure your request is not a fraudulent one.
  4. After that, the agent at the outlet will ask you to complete a Port Request Form.
  5. Next, the agent will ask you to send a text message with the word “PORT” to a short code “3232”.
  6. You will wait for 48 hours for the porting process to complete.
  7. Meanwhile, the new network provider will issue you a new SIM card as the old one becomes useless.
  8. So, each time you port, you get a new SIM card.
  9. You can port to any network at any time and as many times as you want in a given year.
  10. You can also port back to your previous line if you want.
  11. However, you can only port to a third operator or back to your original operator after 90 days from your previous port.
  12. As the porting process continues, you will get SMS telling you of the progress.
  13. However, should you change your mind during the porting process, you can cancel it.
  14. But you must only cancel before you receive an SMS saying the process is complete.
  15. If you try to cancel after receiving the SMS of port completion, it won’t cancel.
  16. You will lose service from your old network operator within an hour of receiving SMS of port completion.
  17. Also, you will begin to receive call, browsing and other service charges that reflect the new network operator’s.
  18. Meanwhile, note that you will lose all messages you received or sent prior to porting.
  19. Also, you will have to reset your SMS, MMS, Internet, etc to that of the new service provider.
  20. You will also lose your outstanding credits after porting. So, the data, free text, call credits, etc that you had in your previous network will wipe away.

    NCC data on porting. Porting: Change Your Line To Any Network Without Changing Your Number

    Mobile Number Porting (MNP) infograph by NCC.

MTN, Airtel emerge highest gainers as Nigerians port in May 2022:

About 3,246 Nigerian network users ported in May 2022.

Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that many subscribers ported to MTN from other networks.

Also, the data showed that Airtel too gained some new subscribers who ported from other networks.

According to the data, while MTN gained 1,731 customers, Airtel gained 1,050 new subscribers.

Similarly, 9mobile gained 314 customers while Glo attracted 151 new users from other networks.

In terms of losing customers, 9Mobile is the worst hit as it lost 2,728 subscribers to other networks.

Following it is Airtel which lost 815 customers to other networks through porting.

Meanwhile MTN had the least loss of customers with 200 subscribers porting out of MTN to other networks.

Globacom lost fewer customers than MTN but not more than 9Mobile or Airtel. Glo lost 297 subscribers in the month of May, 2022.


Porting is one of the best solutions to the issue of poor network service by providers.

With porting, you can migrate to a new network that gives you better network.

You won’t lose your mobile line when you port yet, you will have better services.

Also, porting is a clear metric for the network providers to actually measure their acceptance by the consumers.

With the May, 2022 porting data, it is clear which network has better services satisfying more subscribers.

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