My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Jamaica Number Portability 2 months on - How to Port your number as All Good Customer go to Heaven in 90 Days


Monday, August 10, 2015

Jamaica Number Portability 2 months on - How to Port your number as All Good Customer go to Heaven in 90 Days

It's has now almost been two (2) whole months since the implementation of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability on Monday June 22nd 2015 as declared in my blog article entitled “Number Portability now possible in Jamaica - How the NPA creates efficient Number Range Management as Third Telecom Provider Coming”.  

The rules are now in place to facilitate Porting your number from one Network to the other as detailed in the article “What You Need To Know About Jamaican Number Portability”, published Monday July 13, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Best of all, the Telecom Providers are quite pleased with the renewed activity and interest in their Telecom Services that Number Portability seems to be generating as noted in “Number Portability - Almost Two Weeks In, Digicel And Lime Pleased”, published Saturday July 4, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner

So too is the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell when it was announced that some two hundred (200) persons had made use of the facility and had ported their numbers as reported in the article “Technology Minister Pleased with Implementation of Number Portability”, published June 24, 2015 by Latonya Linton, The Jamaica Information Service.

A recent Tweet by Minister of State Julian Robinson on Tuesday August 4th 2015  suggests that as of Friday July 31st, 2015:

1.         14,709 numbers have been ported in total
2.         3,255 in June 2015
3.         11,454 in July 2015

With no official word from the Media, these figures are the closes we Jamaicans have to an update as to the success of Number Portability. So what are the criteria for a customer to Port their Number?

Conditions required to Port your Number - All Good Customer go to Heaven in 90 Days

Based on this PSA (Public Service Announcement) by Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, Director of Consumer and Public affairs at the Office of Utilities Regulation and Chair of the Number Portability Working Group Sub-committee on Public Awareness, Number Portability is quite straightforward.

Number Portability makes it even clearer.  Dual-Band phones e.g. Nokia feature phones with flashlight definitely won't work, as they're dual-band.

You’re better off with a Quad-Band smartphone and even better if the Telecom Providers could unlock their smartphones as argued in my blog article entitled “MNP and LNP delayed to Monday June 22nd 2015 - Technical Problem is Customer Knowledge, Misdmatched Demographics and no Unlocked Quad-Band smartphones”.

You’ll also have to get a new SIM Card from the provider that you're planning to switch your number. That new SIM will have the phone number from your previous Telecom Provider and as such will use their frequencies, hence the need to have a Quad-Band smartphone. 

Interestingly too, the rules of Number Portability do not allow for solicitation, so the Telecom Providers cannot launch campaigns to encourage people to switch, as Telecom Provider LIME has been doing.

If you're postpaid, you'll have to check your Telecom Provider to make sure that you've cleared all your bills in order to be eligible.

Once that's done, then you're in the clear to achieve Number Portability as noted in the article “Simple Facts About Jamaican Local Number Portability”, published Monday July 6, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The time it takes to port your number is as follows:

1.      5 days after making the request for fixed lines
2.      1 day after making the request for Mobile
3.      10 days after making the request for Mobile for a group of 100 or more fixed numbers
4.      2 days after making the request for 50 or more numbers for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) 

Good to note here you'll lose all of your Voice and Data Bundles as well as old voicemails; only your number is being ported, not your entire existence while using that number. Also you can't port after having done so ninety (90) days prior, as that's simply not allowed. It's porting, not switch-as-you-like!

Jamaica Number Portability 2 months on - How to Port your Mobile or Landline number

So now that you know the basic parameters to achieving Number portability, how does one port from Digicel to LIME, be it landline or mobile number?

The Procedure is quite simple as described in the article “Frequently Asked Questions About Number Portability”, published Monday June 29, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Steps are quite simple:

1.      Go to your Telecom Provider that you wish to switch your mobile or landline
2.      Ask about Number Portability
3.      Fill out the Porting Request Form given to you by the Customer Care Agent
4.      Make sure you have GOJ (Government of Jamaica) ID i.e. Passport, Driver's License, Voter's ID and copy of recent Telephone Bill
5.      Make sure GOJ ID and your Telephone bill for yourself or your business name and address match
6.      Text the word PORT to 444­PORT(7678) for mobile numbers which is free of charge
7.      If the number on your Porting Request Form was a landline, you'll receive an email or SMS with a PIN (Personal Identification Number) 
8.      On receiving the email or SMS, call the special porting number, 444­PORT(7678) from the mobile or landline number you are porting
9.      Submit the PIN (Personal Identification Number) to the AVR (Automated Voice Response) system
10.  You will receive an email or SMS alerting you that your request is being processed

Good to note that in the case of Landline porting, the call must be made from your landline number. Also, Technicians contracted by the company you are porting from (LIME) will have to visit your premises to change your Landline instrument within the timeline as specified above.

Telecom Providers have been claiming that people have been switching like crazy, seeking to outdo the other in terms of numbers as reported in the article “200 customers switch networks with number portability”, published Wednesday, June 24, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

But as my now deceased girlfriend Audia Granston used to say, people will switch and then they'll switch right back. So are you ready to port your number? Leave a comment below if you did and tell me how it went!

Here’s the link:

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