What is mobile number portability?
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) means you can keep your current mobile (or cellular) telephone number if you decide to change from one service provider (or operator) to another within an ECTEL region country (the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines). In short, it is a process that allows you to change service providers without having to change your telephone number. So, switching between service providers would not mean having to go to the trouble of informing all your friends, family, colleagues, customers and clients that your telephone number has changed – it stays the same.
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.
When will number portability begin?
You will be able to use the ECTEL MNP service from Monday 3rd June 2019. The Mobile Number Portability service is available to all mobile subscribers within in all ECTEL countries (the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines).
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.
How much will it cost me?
There are no charges for you to port your number. All porting (or switching) charges are met by the service providers.
But your current provider may charge for unlocking your handset once you have ported your telephone number. You may wish to check with your current provider if handset unlocking charges will apply before you start the porting process.
Where can I get more information about number portability?
The NTRC and ECTEL has published information on number portability on their websites at www.ntrc.gd or www.ectel.int/mnp.
Eligibility to ‘Port’ Your Number
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.
The Porting Process
How do I start the process? Do I need permission from my current service provider to switch to another provider? Will I need to cancel my existing telephone service contract before switching to another provider?
- Go to the retail shop or authorised dealer of your chosen new service provider to request a new telephone service, and tell them that you would like to keep your number. (Please note that porting can only be undertaken by visiting the retail shop or authorised dealer of your chosen new service provider and is not available by telephone or online).
- The staff will ask you to complete an application form together with a “Porting Request Form”.
- You will be asked to provide:
- Proof of identity - government issued photo ID e.g. passport, driver’s licence, etc.
- If you have Post-Paid Account, a copy of a recent mobile/ cellular bill from your current service provider. The name on the recent bill must match the name on the corresponding photographic identity document used to authorise the porting request. In the case of business accounts, proof of authorisation to deal with the account by the person submitting the request must be given.
What happens once the process is initiated? How long will it take?
The mobile porting process should take one (1) working day (i.e. excluding weekends and public holidays), after the day on which you make the request.
I run a business, will switching mean being without telephone services until the porting process is complete?
The only disruption to your mobile service will be when you receive a text asking you insert the SIM card provided by your new provider. This process should take around 30 seconds and once your new SIM card is inserted and your handset is powered back up, your mobile service and telephone number will have been ported.
Does porting have to happen at a particular time in the month? For instance, does my billing period impact when porting can occur?
No. Porting may happen on any business day.
What if I want to cancel my request to port my number? How and when can I do that? Will there be any costs or penalties attached to cancelling?
Your porting process can be cancelled with no charge before you send the validation SMS to the special porting number 77678, set out in step 4 of the porting process (above). Once that SMS has been sent however, the process cannot be aborted.
What documents will I need when applying to have my number ported?
Proof of identity – government issued photo ID, e.g. passport, driver’s licence, etc.
Post-paid customers only - A copy of a recent mobile telephone bill from your current service provider. The name on the recent mobile bill must match the name on the corresponding photographic identity document used to authorise the porting request. In the case of business accounts, proof of authorisation to deal with the account by the person submitting the request must be given.
The working handset with the number to be ported.
What will Number Portability Cost You?
Will I need to ‘purchase’ my telephone number in order to keep it?
How much will switching providers cost me?
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 below 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.
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).