Davis: Road to number portability not easy, but Aliv is ready
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of BeAliv Ltd. Dwayne Davis said yesterday that the platform for mobile number portability (MNP) is ready, but the road to get there was far from “easy”.
“It definitely wasn’t easy. Everything we do, we are doing from scratch. Mind you, there are vendors that handle the portability of numbers, but we then also have to build on Utilities
Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) requirements,” Davis told Guardian Business.
Since Aliv’s launch last year November, Davis said the telecoms company has been doing a lot of “integration and testing”.
He pointed out that MNP, which is expected to launch for consumers on April 25, is not “as easy as people think”.
Davis noted various functions that had to be put in place in order for the MNP service to be effective.
“When you walk into a store to port your number, you have to bring a valid I.D. So, we had to prepare to be able to accept and store the documents for identification process,” he said.
“And then there is also what they call a cooling off period, meaning that if for any reason within the first 90 days, you want to go back to your provider, you have to have your number for 90 days to allow you to go back.
“We have to build a system that talks to BTC’s network and vice versa.”
He also explained that there two parts to MNP for the vendor: consumer and corporate.
“With a big corporation, those are a lot of phones you have to move. So, you ask yourself do you do bulk or individuals. So, it is not as easy as people think. There are a lot of technical requirements in there,” Davis said.
He also pointed out that MNP for fixed lines is “totally different” from MNP for a mobile network.
“The platform for MNP is being constructed now from scratch,” said Davis.
“We have had to build that from scratch, and then we need to integrate with the national roaming database, and then, of course, we need to be able to integrate with BTC so that we are able to send as well as receive.
“When MNP comes on board, if you are an Aliv customer and you are not happy with us, you can go to BTC, just like BTC customers can come to us.
“We are ready and prepared for MNP. The platform is ready.”