By Marlon Madden
Barbados (Barbados Today) – It is official. Barbadians can now switch mobile and landline providers without having to change their numbers.
Telecommunications officials made the announcement on Wednesday that local number portability (LNP) is now a reality in Barbados, after years of planning and putting the necessary systems in place.
Addressing the official launch at the Courtyard by Marriott Bridgetown on Wednesday, officials indicated that the move will further liberalise the telecommunications sector here.
Declaring that the sector had “come of age”, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST) Davidson Ishmael told the gathering that he expected the rollout of the LNP to result in increased competition in the market.
“Local number portability is considered to be a key factor in enhancing competition within a multi-operator environment,” he said.
“The ability of consumers of telecommunications services to access new and or existing services or to change the operator from whom they obtain services without unfortunate consequences being forced upon them, has the potential to drive current and future operators to provide more and better services at cost-effective prices even as they compete against each other to attract new customers.
“Another happy consequence of this, is that it will also make the market more attractive for new entrants who could theoretically, penetrate the sector more easily upon entry. Accordingly, the telecommunications industry will naturally become more competitive, leading to a more liberalised market, which is essential for Barbados’ digital transformation,” he said.
In addition to the current telecommunications providers Digicel and Cable and Wireless, which operates here as Flow, officials are expecting KW Telecommunications to enter the mobile market soon.