South African mobile and fixed-line telephone customers are starting to shop round for better deals while operators – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom and Rain – are seeking to gain a competitive edge through a better customer experience.
In the past six months, more local mobile phone customers have switched from one network operator to another.
Since November 2006 to end June 2018, more than 9, 7 million subscribers ported their mobile numbers versus 8.7 million in January 2018, according to the Number Portability Company (NPC), established to protect the customer by enabling him or her to vote with their feet when they are not happy with the Telco services.
This translates to more than 1 million users that have ported their numbers in the past six months.
The average numbers ported every month is now sitting at 67,582 in South Africa.
Number Portability is the process that enables end-users to retain their telephone numbers when changing from one network operator to another.
The figures released by the NPC may indicate that consumers are slowly seeking better deals and great customer experience their network operators – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom.
The NPC is owned jointly by Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom and Neotel (now named 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 switched networks.
The NPC administers a Central Reference Database (CRDB) linked to the operators via a sophisticated network interface. The CRDB is an administrative database which 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.