KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday May 14, 2015 – Everything is on track for Jamaicans to have the option of switching telephone providers without losing their numbers.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said all the required infrastructure was in place to facilitate number portability on May 31 and all service providers have agreed to facilitate the platform.
He said the regulator, the Office of Utilities Regulation, is also fully up to speed on executing its monitoring role.
Paulwell said number portability would empower consumers and result in greater competition and the lower prices.
“With the new system . . . that number is yours. It allows the consumer to be in control of the number and gives the consumer power over the provider,” he said, adding that switching providers would not cost consumers.
“The law now prohibits a charge by the donor provider to the customer apart from those that govern the service prior to the porting (switching from one provider to another). The incoming provider has the option, but I suspect it might prove foolhardy on their part to impart charges on new clients.”
Initially, number portability will only be facilitated from mobile to mobile and fixed line to fixed line.
“Eventually, porting will be facilitated across service technologies but we’re not there as yet,” Paulwell explained.
The porting facility being established will be reserved for within the country’s borders and by Jamaican service providers.
Back in March, a Number Portability Administrator licence was granted to Netherlands-based Porting Access B.V to establish, operate, manage, coordinate and maintain a number portability central reference database.
The licence is valid for 10 years.