Despite delays, number portability soon in effect – PUC

See below the full statement from the Public Utilities Commission:

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) wishes to notify the general public of the imminent launch of  Number Portability in Guyana.

The 5th of October 2020 heralded the liberalization of the telecommunications sector. The advent of  liberalization brought with it the prospect of better quality of service, competitive rates, better prices and  better choices. Number Portability is perhaps the key drive of liberalization intended to facilitate  competition and enhance consumer choice. Number portability when implemented will allow  subscribers to switch service providers while retaining their existing telephone number.

As the regulator for the telecommunications sector, the Commission is responsible for the implementation and general oversight of the number portability process in Guyana. To this end the  Commission has established a Number Portability Working Group (NPWG) to oversee the process. The  Working Group is chaired by a Member of the Commission and it comprises of representatives from all  the telecommunications service providers, namely GTT Inc., Digicel, and ENet, together with the  Telecommunications Agency. The Telecommunications Agency has the responsibility to process  telecommunications licences, issuance of telephone numbers and the regulation of spectrum used for  both mobile and wireless radio communication.

Central to the technical process is the Clearinghouse service provider. Porting XS the selected  Clearinghouse from the Netherlands now licensed in Guyana is responsible for providing number  portability administrative services to the service providers. The Clearinghouse provider will manage the  central database with telephone numbers and technically manage which numbers may be ported upon  the request of the consumer.

Admittedly, whilst the Commission had anticipated an earlier launch date for number portability, the  delay in the licensing of the clearinghouse provider and the completion of multiple detailed processes  especially the numerous porting tests between the service providers impacted on several key milestones.  The critical stage of the live testing of numbers amongst the service providers is now a daily  exercise. This testing component is an involved science which includes but not limited to the  interconnection with the Clearinghouse provider; exchange of telephone numbers for porting tests and  certification of every completed test. The configuration of the routing of calls when a number is ported  to another service provider, and testing of short message signal (SMS) during the porting processes all  form the basis for the best practices towards a seamless Number Portability regime in Guyana.

The Commission wishes to assure the public that it continues to actively participate and monitor each  testing phase and that we remain committed to ensuring the successful implementation of number  portability. We at the Commission understand that an assigned telephone number, especially mobile  numbers have evolved and it has become synonymous with a person’s identity as a recovery contact for  social media and other electronic platforms.

As we strive to make Number Portability a reality in Guyana, please be assured that we will continue to  provide the general public with updates and ultimately the new launch date.