The Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) of the Cayman Islands has confirmed that a new local number portability (NP) regime – both fixed and mobile – went live this week allowing customers to move their number to a different service provider. The implementation was due in late-January 2012 but was pushed back to 20 February due to technical issues and ‘sensitive negotiations’ between the island’s principal operators – Digicel Caymans and LIME – which were involved in the committee controlling the process. The latest delay was designed to give operators more time to complete systems testing required to make porting a reality, CayCompass.com reports.
The head of ICTA, David Archbold, welcomed the arrival of local NP in the country saying that ‘by removing most of the inconvenience and reducing the costs associated with changing service providers, NP gives consumers greater choice and increases competition’. The regulator originally legislated for the introduction on number portability in December 2008 – since when local operators have been selecting and implementing the necessary systems to make it a reality. Archbold hopes the new regime will remove a ‘big disincentive’ for businesses in particular to switch service provider – by eliminating costs related to re-printing company documentation and changing advertising materials.
Both Digicel Caymans and LIME have welcomed the arrival of NP. Victor Corcoran, CEO of Digicel’s operation there, said his firm was looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of local number portability, while his counterpart at LIME, Tony Ritch, said he was pleased local number portability was finally a reality.