Regional telecoms regulator the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) – which was established under Treaty in May 2000 by five Eastern Caribbean States – Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – has announced that Local Number Portability (LNP) services will be launched in all ECTEL member states on 19 November 2018. The date was agreed at a meeting held on 12 September by the working group set up to oversee the implementation of LNP. The scheme will allow for fixed number portability (FNP) and mobile number portability (MNP) within each ECTEL member state, giving consumers the flexibility to move their fixed and mobile voice services to the provider of their choice.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MNP has been on the drawing board for several years and in November 2015 ECTEL announced its intention to launch it across the region ‘before the end of 2016’. To this end, it held an initial comments period on the proposals in December 2015-January 2016, but plans were delayed. In March 2017 ECTEL said it was drawing up a detailed project work plan and commitment from providers to implement MNP in all member states that year, but again the trail went cold until this month’s announcement.