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Naught I do about 3MTee3N!

19 August 2011

Dear Mum,

I met a friend today in our department block. I was with her at COLTEK. Her name reminded me of the name you desired to have on your rebirth. It filled me with nostalgia.. and missed you more. Hope you are doing well while I pray to God to keep my head up and straight.

How are you coping with your current mobile phone operator’s services? Are its intra-network tariffs cheaper than incoming calls from other networks? You don’t know! Such is… sorry… was my network (yes I have ported). My previous carrier (as the MNP people call them telcos) told me to subscribe to some zone. Inside the zone, I could make calls at 1p/min between 5am and 8am. No kidding; it sounds mouth-watering. However, sometimes within that period, I did not see the discount information that normally displays before the call is connected. I must admit though that I made some calls at that time. On the other hand, most of the people I called at that time were not on that network. I had no qualms with that. My biggest problem is.. ei.. was with the charges after 08:00:00. Would you believe that discount information beyond 8am showed 9p/min for calls within?

Meanwhile, I had discovered long ago that it cost 8p/m to place a call from my new carrier to my old carrier. The only hindrance to my early movement was the 8-cedi balance on my mobile money wallet on my old carrier. Further, my new carrier did not have service points around the corner. My want to port, which over the past few weeks transmogrified into a need became mere rhetoric and ridiculous. My cousin Araba’s skepticism began damping my zeal. Yesterday, my dream was realised. Our errands took us near Frankies in Osu, passing in front of my new carrier’s customer service point. My fist clenched. “I am porting”, I whispered to myself. Thankfully, my boss’ rendezvous occupied him for about an hour. You have no idea how happy I was to have taken that 10-minute sprint along the Oxford Street. It was fun and good exercise, achieving something for me.. and all customers! Kudos to the Government of Ghana for championing Mobile Number Portability.

Inside the CSP, the sun was in my face, terribly adding to the warmth in the room, and what I brought with me. It was my back case. In about ten minutes, it was my turn. I approached and sat in front of the agent. “I need to port”, I told her. “Please wait for your turn to see the first woman”, she responded. I blushed but kept my cool. Mum, I was too eager.. and in a hurry to return to the car, lest my boss gets angry for keeping him waiting. I was next in line to the ‘portress’. “I want to port, ma’am”, I told her. ” “Have you copied your contacts already?”. “Yes ma’am”, I responded while doing a recheck. I had no contacts on old carrier’s SIM. “Send ‘port’ to 600”. I did. “Please fill out this form”, she said while handing me a form booklet, and asking me for my identification card which I handed to her.

My Porting Request

With some funny zeal and eagerness, I signed the warrant to switch telecom operator. I deliberately timed the process. It took just over five minutes. After completing the form, I was given a new SIM card which I was supposed to insert before 48 hours. She did not tell me to expect an SMS telling to do so. I knew that from attending the Africa Digital Week in July.

She sounded irritated when I asked her if I should not wait for that SMS. Then the irritation worsened when I told her about the SMS I had received… “Your porting request is being processed. Thank you.” I couldn’t wait for the next message. I had the new SIM in my hand almost throughout the evening till I went to bed. Mum, ironically, I did not hear the alert for the second SMS. I woke at 4:50 am to find it on. After all, it was not 48 hours yet.

I grabbed the new SIM card, and swapped. It was such a delight to receive the welcome messages including configuration for mobile Internet which I doubt I’ll use that frequency… because my new carrier’s data charges are cut-throat compared to my old carrier.  But I care less… I ported for voice reasons… lol. I was hesitant to know if the process was finally successful. I called 121 (new carrier’s call centre) and chose the option to get my phone number read to me.

SIM Change Message

“Sorry, your number cannot be registered at this moment”. I shook a while and sent a (free) SMS to my colleague informing him I’ve ported. He replied. I called the call centre again, my phone number was read to me, it was so cool.

Porting was complete. Then a call came through… I answered and spoke… no hitches.

Mum, I suggest you join me on my new carrier because I have reserved a slot for you on my family and friends list. I can also register your number as my Magic Number… and you can send me airtime via Me2U. I’m off to decongest my desk of some reading assignments. Let me know your decision about porting, perhaps I would follow you after 30 days. Greetings from the boys… bye for now mum.

Love… Kweku

PS: See how I’m fairing at my new carrier

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