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mobile number portability

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Number portability offers a special enhancement to consumer choice in markets where there are more than one telephone service provider. Number portability or number porting, enables users to keep their current telephone number when switching from one telecommunications service provider to another. Removing the hassle/inconvenience of having to inform all of your contacts – family, friends, colleagues, customers, clients, etc.– that your telephone number has changed. It means that consumers can focus their decision on the important issues such as service quality and price. Simply, consumers may select the service provider of their choice and keep their telephone number.

Before number portability, switching to a new service provider also meant having to get a new telephone number. Enhancing consumer choice with the ability to ‘port’ their number, also promotes competition as providers compete to offer services and prices they believe to be most attractive to consumers.

From Monday 3rd June 2019, number portability for mobile or cellular telephone numbers will be available across the ECTEL region (the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines).

Number portability for fixed or landline telephone numbers will be available at a later date once alternative fixed telephone services are available across the ECTEL region.

What if I am not happy with my new service provider? Can I switch back to my old one? Will there be penalty costs to switching multiple times?

If your new service provider fails to meet promised quality of service, then you can reverse the porting (i.e. port back to your previous service provider) within 14 days of your porting having been completed. After that period has elapsed, you may not port the same number again (whether to your previous operator or to any other operator) for sixty (60) days after the port has completed.

Is my former service provider allowed to try to dissuade me after I have decided to switch?

No. Your old service provider is not allowed to contact you during the porting process to try and persuade you to stay with them. Your old service provider is prohibited from contacting you with the intention or effect of encouraging you to return to them for re-sign up for their mobile/ cellular telephone services for a period of sixty (60) days following the completion of the porting process. However, your old service provider can contact you to recover outstanding payments.

What about voicemail and other ancillary services that I have currently? How will porting my number impact these services?

Messages which have been sent to you, but not delivered, may be erased. You will lose your old voicemail, sms, mms and ancillary services, and you will need to set these up again with your new operator.

Who do I contact if I have a problem with switching?

If there is any problem with porting or for any other query during or after the porting process, you should contact your proposed new service provider, who will coordinate the complaints process (even though the problem may not have been caused by that provider).

Will I need to ‘purchase’ my telephone number in order to keep it?
And How much will switching providers cost me?

No, And there is no charge for you to port your telephone number. All porting charges are met by the network service providers.

Will there be ‘hidden’ costs/charges?

Not related to porting, however, note that there may be contractual charges due as a result of ending your contract with your current service provider.

Will this mean additional fees/charges for local calls made between/across operator networks?

The charges applicable to your service after switching will be on the terms and conditions of your new provider, and you will now be on their network. As such, charges may be different from those of your previous service provider, including increased charges for making calls from your new network to numbers on your previous network.

Will I incur any penalty costs for leaving a provider? [Post-paid customers only]

You will receive a bill for your usage up to the time your number is switched to the new service provider, and your service terminated 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 outstanding balance of monthly rentals due under the contract. You should investigate this carefully with your existing service provider before switching in order to avoid any surprises. 

Who will be eligible for the number portability service?

Any post-paid mobile/ cellular customer whose telephone number has not been barred or suspended from making outgoing calls, and also provided you have no more than one bill that has not been paid by the due payment date and is still unpaid or your outstanding account balance exceeds the deposit you have made to your current service provider.

Any pre-paid mobile/ cellular customer whose telephone number has not been barred or suspended from making outgoing calls. 

Do I own my phone number?  

Your telephone number is the property of the Government and it is assigned to the service providers through the local NTRC for use by subscribers. You rent the telephone number from your service provider and you have the right to use the number provided your account remains active. As long as your account with your current provider is active, you are able to port or move your number to another service provider using the MNP service. Please check the terms and conditions of your current service provider to confirm their specific requirements for your account to remain active.

Can a service provider under any circumstances, refuse to allow me to retain my number?

If your telephone number has been barred or suspended from making outgoing calls for non-payment or any other reason the port will be refused by your current operator. The operator you wish to move your service to will conduct usual credit checks and may require the payment of an appropriate deposit before providing service or, in some circumstances may refuse to provide service to you.

If you have no more than one bill that has not been paid by the due payment date and is still unpaid or your outstanding account balance exceeds the deposit you have made to your current service provider.  

What if I have a disputed issue/ balance that I am unable to resolve with my current provider? Can I still be eligible if I am actively trying to resolve the matter?

Provided that your telephone number has not been barred or restricted from making outgoing calls, you are eligible for porting. You will still remain liable to pay any outstanding balance due to your current provider.

What is porting?

Porting is the term used by the operators (or service provider) to describe the process which moves your telephone number from one operator to another.

Can I port my fixed or landline number?

No - You will NOT be able to port your fixed or landline phone at this time. Fixed number portability will be launched at a later date once alternative fixed line services are available in each ECTEL island.

Will I be able to keep my telephone number if I move to another ECTEL country?

No, a number may only be ported within each ECTEL country.

Will number portability also mean that I can switch my mobile telephone number to my landline telephone phone service? 

No, mobile telephone numbers can only be ported to other mobile telephone service providers.

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For further information, please contact:

The NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY COMMISSION (NTRC)

Address:

Maurice Bishop Highway
Grand Anse, St. George

Phone:

(473) 435-6872
Fax: (473) 435-2132

E-mail:

gntrc@ectel.int

Working Hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 4:00pm

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