More benefits are coming to mobile telephone customers in the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) has announced that starting Monday, June 3rd, 2019, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will be launched in all five ECTEL Member States.
Mobile Number Portability enables consumers to keep their current mobile telephone numbers when switching from one mobile telephone operator to another. This service removes the inconvenience of phone users having to inform their contacts, family and friends of a new number after changing their mobile service provider.
Chairman of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers, Honourable Kelver Darroux, who is also Dominica’s Minister of Information, Science, Telecommunications and Technology, made the announcement on May 23rd at the 39th ECTEL Council of Ministers meeting at the Harbor Club in Saint Lucia.
“ECTEL is confident that the launch of mobile number portability across the region on June 3rd, will give consumers the flexibility to move their mobile services to the service provider that best meets their needs. Further, mobile number portability is an enabler for competition across ECTEL, as it will lower the barrier to market entry for new mobile service operators who may wish to enter the mobile markets,” Honourable Darroux said.
The MNP project began in 2015 with a decision by the ECTEL Council of Ministers to implement local number portability for both fixed and mobile phones. The introduction of MNP means that consumers can now switch their attention to other telecommunications issues, such as service quality, service offerings and price.
Speaking specifically on the expectations of Dominica’s mobile customers on the introduction of MNP, Honourable Darroux said there has been anticipation since December 2018 for the launch of MNP, and customers were very excited at the thought of being able to keep their numbers after switching service provider.
“The talk of the town was that if I can keep my same number and change the service provider it would be beneficial to me and my contacts because I will be able to continue that relationship that we have already established, particularly for consumers who may be of high profile, like government ministers. But you now have that opportunity to have that similar number while at the same time change to a service provider who can give you a better quality of service and provide you with better rates. I think that will augur well for the consumers of Dominica,” Honourable Darroux said.
Mobile Number Portability will be available to post-paid and pre-paid mobile consumers of all service providers within the ECTEL region, as long as the customer’s number has not been barred, restricted, suspended, or handsets reported stolen or lost to the current provider.
There will be no charges for number porting. However, the customer may be charged for a new SIM card and unlocking the customer’s handset, before the number is ported.
At the 39th ECTEL Council of Ministers meeting, where MNP was discussed, four out of the five Council Members were in attendance. Joining Honourable Darroux were Honourable Gregory Bowen from Grenada, Honourable Vincent Byron Jr. – St. Kitts and Nevis, and Honourable Guy Joseph from Saint Lucia. Absent was Honourable Camillo Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
They all agreed that the introduction of Mobile Number Portability was one more success of ECTEL’s mission to improve the telecommunications regulatory environment in its Members States.
Information on Mobile Number Portability is available through the NTRC or at www.ectel.int/mnp