Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has noted that number portability is close to becoming a reality in Jamaica.
"We have consulted with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), which has advised that number portability can, with the corporation of the telecoms players, become a reality within the year,” Mr. Paulwell said.
The Minister was speaking on July 24 during his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
The Minister further noted that he has long been an advocate of number portability, and “I am most encouraged that finally, all the providers are on board and have pledged their full support to achieving this in a timely manner."
The recently passed Telecommunications (Amendment) Act 2012 empowers the Minister to impose number portability, which is the ability of a consumer to retain his or her telephone number after switching service providers.
Mr. Paulwell also mentioned that the legislation empowers the OUR to mandate a telecoms licensee to share telecommunications infrastructure and facilities, such as cell sites and towers, landing stations, and cables.
"Essentially, this now means that a new telecoms player need not expend resources to construct infrastructure, but can instead, enter the market with relative ease and in a shorter time frame,” the Science and Technology Minister said.
He added that this will encourage competition by reducing the cost of entry into the market by new telecoms players.