My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Number Portability now possible in Jamaica - How the NPA creates efficient Number Range Management as Third Telecom Provider Coming

Monday, June 22, 2015

Number Portability now possible in Jamaica - How the NPA creates efficient Number Range Management as Third Telecom Provider Coming

Finally at long last it's here and it's free!

I'm of course referring to MNP (Mobile Number Portability) which begins effective midnight of Sunday June 21st 2015 as reported in the article “Number portability now an option for telecoms subscribers in Jamaica”, published Sunday June 21, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

And yes, best of all, it's a free service, as stipulated under the section of the Telecommunications Act of 2014 that speaks specifically to Portability.

The service had been delayed duo to “technical problems” according to the Telecom Provider, which I predicted was related to the issue of unlocked smartphones as predicted in my blog article entitled “MNP and LNP delayed to Monday June 22nd 2015 - Technical Problem is Customer Knowledge, Mismatched Demographics and no Unlocked Quad-Band smartphones”.

MNP and LNP (Landline Number Portability), a telecom related service that allows you to port or transfer your phone numbers, both the three (3) digit exchange codes and the four (4) digit station codes from one Network to another.

This service is being provided by NPA (Number Portability Administrator) Porting Access B.V. of the Netherlands who had been hired since Friday March 13th 2015 to provide the service as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaica has selected Porting Access B.V. for NPA – How NPAS will provision a TPRR based CRDB from the Land of Windmills and Carrier-Free SIM Cards”.

More importantly, the introduction of MNP and LNP means that the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) can finally get the additional Number Ranges from the NANP (North American Numbering Plan) that would allow Competition in the Telecom Sector to come to Jamaica as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR applies for new Area Code for Jamaica - Competition in Telecoms in the coming Hunger Games Catching Fire of Mobile Computing”.

But how did the Telecom Provider solve the problem of unlocked smartphones? And how is it free seeing as the NPA has to be paid to provide the service to customers?

Technical Problem of knowledge ignored – Customer have to unlock their smartphones elsewhere

Unlocked Smartphone was a major hurdle for introducing Number Portability. That and the fact that not all Jamaicans have a Quad-Band smartphone.

But given the resistance by the Telecom Providers to Number Portability, which was suggested since 2010 and that fact that they hardly, spoke about or gave out information about it, they may not have been eager to have it introduced in Jamaica.

After all, increased number ranges would allow them to expand their Networks and achieve the short-term gains of getting customer to swap their numbers from competing Telecom Providers.

But with the IXP (Internet Exchange Point) available albeit with no Peering enabled as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Telecom Providers ISP on IXP Not Peering –What is Peering, Why is Peering Important and Why Jamaican Telecom Providers are not Peering” and now MNP and LNP here, by now and the end of 2015, expect to hear announcements about competitors coming to Jamaica to setup their services.

So short answer, they didn't solve it at all, as since making the switch is free, as they will not be unlocking smartphones, a responsibility that they’ll leave to the customers as noted in my blog article entitled “How Jamaican can access MNP and LNP by Monday June 1st 2015 – Windfall for Jamaican smartphone unlockers as Quad-Band smartphones and Carrier-Free SIM Cards Required”.

Possibly, many customers, in making the jump to a new Network, may have just simply purchase a new smartphone, being as they’re currently on sale at fairly reasonable prices. After the MNP is complete, they get a new phone and a new SIM with their phone number.

This is especially if they did not have a Quad-Band smartphone in the first place, thus resorting to just simply purchasing a new instrument, especially in the case of LNP.

How the NPA gets paid – Telecom Provider foots the bill for more efficient Number Range management

So how does the NPA Porting Access B.V. of the Netherlands get paid to set up, administer, maintain and expand the CRDB (Central Reference Database) and action requests for the porting of mobile and Landline numbers between the Telecom Providers via a COHS (Central Order Handling System)?

After all, their facilities to provide the NPAS (Number Portability Administrator Service) as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR issues TPPR for a Number Portability Administrator in Jamaica - How Number Portability will get us NANP's NPA and Third 4G Competitor” most have an operating cost and be doing so to make a profit.

Most likely, as stipulated under the Telecommunications Act of 2014, being as Porting is Free, the NPA is being paid on a per month on a volume basis directly by the Telecom Provide without charging the customer.

That is, if they port a certain amount of phone numbers of per month, the Telecom Provider from whom the numbers are being ported as well as to whom the numbers are being ported would pay them based on the volume of numbers ported.

This as the Telecom Provider that is the recipient of the new customers stands to benefit from the customers seeking to retain their phone numbers so that persons familiar with their phone number can always make contact.

It also benefits them as it now efficiently manages the available number ranges and creates the added windfall of the NANP being able to grant the increase in number ranges. This is the main benefit; efficient management of their phone number resources as explained in my blog article entitled “OUR applies for new Area Code for Jamaica - Competition in Telecoms in the coming Hunger Games Catching Fire of Mobile Computing”.

So what next to expect in the next six (6) months? Progress on the implementation of MNP and LNP as well as the announcement of Jamaica getting the additional Area code and hence the additional number ranges.

Possibly too, a New Telecom Provider as well by December 2015!




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