BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday February 8, 2018 – Barbadians should finally be able to switch telephone service providers without losing their phone numbers from December, if a timeline announced by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is met.
Stuart said the Division of Telecommunications had launched a Local Number Portability Project in September last year, “and we confidently expect that by the end of this year, by December 2018, the Local Number Portability Project would have been completed”.
“The objective of this project is to give Barbadians the ability to change their telecommunications service provider without having to change their number,” he explained. “So your number becomes portable even though your service provider has changed . . . at minimal cost.”
Even if the deadline set out by Prime Minister Stuart is met, it would still be almost three years behind the timeline set out by the Fair Trading Commission when it approved the 2015 merger of Cable &Wireless Communications PLC –which traded locally as LIME – and Columbus International Inc, which traded locally as FLOW.
The FTC stated then that the merged entity, in accordance with its commitments, must be technically ready for Local Number Portability in the fixed network by September 30, 2015 and Mobile Number Portability in the mobile network by November 30, 2015.