Number portability by end of year
The Government is on track to implement number portability for mobile phones within another eight to nine months.
State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Julian Robinson, says the process is "moving steadily" and it is anticipated that the process, which is being implemented for cell phones in the first instance, will be in place between November and December.
He informed that the ministry was in the process of issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to identify and recruit a qualified entity to provide services under the impending telephone number portability project.
Robinson made the announcement at a recent meeting of the Realtors Association of Jamaica at the New Kingston Conference Centre.
Number portability entails and facilitates the retention of numbers assigned to telephone service users, regardless of their provider.
Robinson, who described number portability as a "complex" process to implement, advised that the ministry had completed a set of business rules, developed around the undertaking.
Additionally, he said a number portability working group, comprising representatives of the ministry; Office of Utilities Regulation; and major telephony providers, LIME, Digicel, and Flow, which will assist in guiding the process, has been established.
The state minister informed that eight entities responded to the ministry's Request for Information (RFI) issued last year. The RFI invited submissions from entities detailing their ability to provide porting services.
"It is a pretty complex process behind the scenes. The companies (service providers), themselves, have to do a lot of re-engineering on their part. But ... you have to have an entity that is responsible for porting ... between the different providers," he explained.
Noting that the process is "moving steadily", Robinson said it is anticipated that number portability for cell phones, in the first instance, will be implemented between November and December.
He also advised that work on fixed lines numbers "will probably take a little longer, into next year."