Number portability now in effect
Effective midnight Sunday, Jamaican consumers were able to switch from one telecommunications network to the other and maintain their numbers.
Speaking with The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre en route from Russia, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said all telecommunication providers have completed their testing and are ready to facilitate local number portability (LNP) without any charge to the consumer.
"I've just got a report from all the providers that they are all ready, they have done the testing, and the facility that will assist Jamaicans to virtually own their own number will be in place at midnight to tonight," Paulwell confirmed yesterday.
"The subscriber will be able to move from one provider to another without many difficulties, and also the provider from which he is leaving will not be able to charge for the porting to the new provider," he continued.
Under the Telecommunications Act (Number Portability) Rules 2014, providers cannot charge subscribers who wish to switch from one network to another. The minister noted that telecoms companies have also assured that they would not be seeking to charge consumers.
Number portability should have taken effect on May 31, but was delayed because LIME asked for an extension to conduct tests and correct glitches.
The introduction of LNP follows the granting of a 10-year licence in March this year to Porting Access B.V. of The Netherlands to administer number-portability services in Jamaica. Under the licence, Porting Access B.V. will operate, manage, coordinate and maintain a number portability central reference database and an automated central order handling system, as well as other related activities for the provision of number portability.
Number portability should be available for both mobile and fixed line services.