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Local Number Portability The experience in Cayman. Frans Vandendries 8 th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic Seminar 9 th February 2011. What is Number Portability?. Customers maintain their number while changing their service provider Direct benefits to consumers

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Local Number Portability

The experience in Cayman

Frans Vandendries

8th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic Seminar

9th February 2011

what is number portability
What is Number Portability?
  • Customers maintain their number while changing their service provider
  • Direct benefits to consumers
    • Facilitates choice of preferred service provider
    • Increased competition to retain or acquire customers
    • Lower prices and improved quality of service
  • LIME’s objective:
    • Promote consumer choice
    • Establish simple process for smooth transition between service providers, to minimize any disruption in service


the cayman solution
The Cayman Solution
  • Calls routed using “local” databases
    • Operators have flexibility to choose own approach
  • Synchronized to central reference database (“CRD”)
  • Numbers ported between operators through order management system provided by CRD manager
    • LIME will adopt automated procedures for better customer experience, both “in” and “out”
  • Mandated “go-live” date of 1st July 2011


what we have achieved
What We Have Achieved
  • Industry “Consortium” established to manage selection of CRD Manager
    • Consortium and two of three sub-committees chaired by LIME
    • LIME drafted RFP, first drafts of inter-operator “business rules” and contract for CRD manager
    • LIME Project Manager is de-facto Consortium project manager
  • CRD Manager selected, in contract negotiations
  • High-level porting process agreed among operators


next steps
Next Steps
  • Details of inter-operator “business processes” being finalized
    • Maximum porting interval
    • Routing Prefix (replaces NXX)
    • Customer choice validation process (SMS, IVR)
    • Etc.
  • Installation of CRD, internal solutions
    • Bulk of the work is internal to each operator
  • Testing of End-to-End Solution
  • Inter-operator Agreements to be revised
    • For example, under present arrangements, overseas text messages to Cayman customers will fail once LNP is introduced


what we have learned
What We have Learned
  • Portability is far more complex than anticipated
    • No operator in Cayman had direct experience with LNP
  • Establishing portability is resource-intensive
    • All parts of an operator’s business are affected (“far reaching tentacles”)
    • Careful project management is critical, both within operators and for the industry as a whole
  • The “network” is the easy part
    • The complexity is in the back office systems, and in modifying internal business processes
    • Particularly with fixed line provisioning


what we have learned cont d
What We have Learned (cont’d)
  • The regulator is a key participant
    • But it should be an operator-led process
  • Spend time up front on the inter-operator organization
  • Operators have little experience co-operating
    • “Trust” issues
    • Many details have been contentious
    • It is not clear whether all operators have the same interest as LIME in promoting portability
    • Disputes have had to be raised to the regulator, with mixed support from regulator
  • A change in mind-set is required
    • Closer cooperation in order to compete


  • The decision to implement is the easy part
    • Clear and overwhelming benefit to consumers
    • Still need to address costs, though
  • Focus on details of inter-operator cooperation
    • Ideally resolve before implementation, e.g. as part of decision to proceed
    • Portability cannot be implemented faster than the slowest of the operators
  • Project Management Matters
    • At all levels (industry, operators)
    • Too important to leave to haphazard implementation
    • Consider third party hired by regulator


implications cont d
Implications (cont’d)
  • Consider targeted implementation
    • Most consumers, newer switches are on the mobile network
    • Regional platforms more likely to be mobile
    • Most complexity for operators is on the fixed network
  • Consider “piggybacking” on implementation in other countries
    • Upgrades to regional mobile platforms, expertise gained in larger networks, e.g. Jamaica, more likely to be “portable” to other countries