Paulwell Reaffirms Number Portability By May 31, 2015

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, has reiterated Government’s commitment to implement number portability in Jamaica by May 31, next year.

“We have now gazetted all the rules dealing with number portability and I have mandated the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and all the providers that come May 31, 2015, we will have full portability,” Minister Paulwell said.

speaking at an information and communication technology (ICT) seminar, held at the University of Technology (UTech), in Kingston, he advised that this would not only involve mobile, but also fixed networks.

He said the Government was determined to meet its 2015 deadline, as number portability is important in improving the country’s business competitiveness.

“Those companies that are not ready, they are going to feel the full brunt of the law and the authority that I have, because this has been outstanding for too long and people should have been ready by now,” the Minister emphasised.

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

The Government had initially targeted May this year to implement number portability, but the timeline was revised, following an announcement from LIME, one of the main service providers, that it would not be ready.

The other two main providers – Digicel and FLOW – while stating then that they had received the necessary approvals to implement number portability, advised that they would not embark on the process unless it is done in full.

Number portability allows consumers to choose a service provider, based on service, quality, and price, rather than on a desire to retain a particular telephone number.

It allows consumers to change service providers while avoiding the time, costs and risks associated with changing numbers; as well as promotes competition by eliminating real or perceived barriers to customers switching service providers and thus makes it easier for entry into the market by new players.

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