Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Frequently asked questions about number portability

Published:Monday | June 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson
Customers on Saturday flock to Digicel's waterfront store in downtown Kingston to take advantage of a promotion by the phone company, which offered them new cellular phones to switch networks.
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Local number portability was rolled out to Jamaicans on June 22. Since then, consumers have been asking many questions. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and their answers:

 

What is number portability?

 

Number Portability (NP) means you can keep your current fixed line or mobile phone number if you decide to change from one service provider to another within Jamaica.

As such, switching between service providers will mean that you will not have to tell your friends, family, colleagues, customers and clients that your number has changed.

 

How much will switching service providers cost me?

 

There will be no charge by the service provider from which you are porting your number, however, the service provider to which you are porting may impose a charge. Please check with them to find out whether there is a charge. Any charge applied is at the discretion of the individual service providers.

 

Will there be 'hidden' costs/charges?

 

Charges may not be related to porting, however, there may be contractual charges when you end your contract with your current service provider.

 

Will I pay more

 

 

for my service?

 

The charges applicable to your service after switching will depend on the terms and conditions of your new service provider. Charges may be different from those of your previous service provider.

 

Will I incur any penalty for leaving a provider?

 

This may depend on the terms and conditions of your contract with your current service provider.

If you have not completed a minimum required term of the contract with your existing service provider, you may be required to pay the charges due under the contract.

 

How to port your number

 

 

Step 1

 

Go to the retail shop or authorised dealer of your chosen new service provider to request a new telephone service and tell them that you would like to keep your number. Porting is not available by telephone or online. The staff will ask you to complete an application form together with a Porting Request Form.

You will be asked to provide:

- Proof of identity - either a valid passport, driver's licence, national identification card or other photo ID.

- A copy of a recent telephone bill from your current service provider, in the case of landline.

- The name on the recent bill must match the name on the photo ID used to authorise the porting request.

- For business accounts, proof of authorisation to deal with the account by the person submitting the request must be given.

 

Step2

 

For mobile ports, after submitting your porting request, you will be asked to text the word PORT to the number 444-PORT(7678). The text must be sent from the number which you intend to port. Texts to the designated mobile port request number will be free of charge.

For landline numbers, after submitting your porting request, you will receive an email or SMS asking you to call the special porting number, 444-PORT(7678), and submit the PIN that is provided in the email or SMS text. The call must be made from the number which you intend to port. Calls to the designated fixed line port request number will be free of charge. The service provider may have to visit your premises for fixed line porting.

 

Step 3

 

You will get an email or text if your request is being processed. If it is successful, you will get a confirmation email or text. Mobile porting takes 24 hours of a business day. Landline porting take up to five business days.

• Contributed by Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, director, consumer and public affairs, Office of Utilities Regulation. She chairs the Number Portability Working Group (NPWG) sub-committee on public awareness.