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Story Highlights

  • Implementation of the proposed number portability system by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, has been pushed back to May 2015.
  • This is to facilitate the completion of several activities and engagements that will enable its full establishment, which was initially set for May 2014.
  • Number portability, allows users of mobile and fixed telephones to retain numbers assigned to them, if they choose to switch service providers.

Implementation of the proposed number portability system by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, has been pushed back to May 2015.

State Minister, Hon. Julian Robinson, says this is to facilitate the completion of several activities and engagements that will enable its full establishment, which was initially set for May 2014.

The State Minister made the announcement during his 2014/15 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 11, under the theme: ‘Information and Communication Technologies as Enablers for Growth and Development’.

Number portability, allows users of mobile and fixed telephones to retain numbers assigned to them, if they choose to switch service providers.

Mr. Robinson said one of the service providers, LIME, indicated that, under the original implementation date, the company would have only been able to fulfill provisions for mobile phones.

LIME said this is consequent on its “legacy system” which renders the process “more challenging for them to implement.”

Additionally, Mr. Robinson said the other two providers, Digicel and FLOW, while indicating that they received the “necessary approvals and budget(s)” to implement number portability, had advised that they will not embark on the process “unless it is (done in) full.”

“Based on this scenario, the Government and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR)…are now…examining the options to ensure that we can have a timely implementation. We have made the necessary background work, in terms of the rules, and the issuing of the instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) for them to be drafted for number portability to be ready by May next year,” the State Minister said.

The number portability process is being overseen by a Technical Working Group comprising representatives of the Ministry, the OUR, and the telecommunications service providers.