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BTC ‘will try its hardest’ to make mobile number portability deadline, says Williams

Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Mar 22, 2017

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With mobile number portability (MNP) expected to launch on April 25, despite being delayed by nearly two months, CEO of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) Leon Williams said yesterday the company “will try its hardest” to make the date.

Speaking to Guardian Business on the sidelines of a press conference, Williams explained that, when dealing with technical matters such as MNP, “you really don’t know until you do it”.

Williams said that outside of a testing environment, the outcome might differ in a production environment.

“When you go in a production environment, there are a lot of things that happen,” he said.

“When you move things to a production environment, you don’t know how it could affect your network and the rest of your network.

“You don’t know how it will affect the customer and the customer’s billing.”

Based on his experience in the telecommunications field, Williams noted that he has been in “these scenarios before” and learned “not to make any commitments or promises”.

“In this business of telecommunications, I don’t consider myself that good of an expert to be able to say everything will work,” he said.

“You just plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Given the importance of MNP in the telecommunications sector, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) expects BTC and second mobile operator BeAliv Ltd. to have all procedures in place by April 14, 2017.

The original launch date was set for February 14, 2017, but a delay was issued, hinged on advice provided by UK-based consultancy firm Laurasia Associates.

The firm disclosed at the time that both BTC and BeAliv had “significant work remaining before MNP could be launched with an acceptable degree of confidence in its success”.

Director of Policy and Regulations at URCA Stephen Bereaux told Guardian Business yesterday “that progress is being made and work is continuing” on implementing MNP.

“We are optimistic. We are going to require that the operators meet their obligations,” he said.

Bereaux asserted that both cellular mobile operators are “required to meet the date”.

“So, we will wait and see,” he said.

Addressing Williams’ comments Bereaux said, “Notwithstanding his comments, I have no reason to believe BTC won’t meet the date as of today. I don’t think there is any reason to believe we are not going to meet the date as of today.”


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