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Rigorous tests underway for switching phone companies and keeping same numbers

Last Updated on Wednesday, 6 September 2023, 15:51 by Denis Chabrol

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) said Guyana’s three telephone companies and the number portability company were conducting rigorous tests before launching the service that would allow subscribers to change their phone service providers but keep their existing numbers.

“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 PUC said.

The utility regulator had in May, 2023 said that number portability would have become a reality in Guyana in July, 2023.  But, now the regulator said a new date would be announced after all the tests were completed.

“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 PUC said in a statement.

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 said.

The Number Portability Working Group (NPWG) to oversee the process 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.

The Netherlands-headquartered Porting XS is the number portability clearinghouse service provider of administrative services to the service providers and manager of the central database with telephone numbers and technically manage which numbers may be ported upon the request of the consumer.

The Commission said it understood 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.

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September 2023