Never again: Will phone customers have to change numbers when they get a new provider. As of March 3, 2014 a new policy goes into place which mandates the carriers to be able to transfer a phone number to the competition. *iStock photo
Never again: Will phone customers have to change numbers when they get a new provider. As of March 3, 2014 a new policy goes into place which mandates the carriers to be able to transfer a phone number to the competition. *iStock photo

In less than 90 days, Bermuda residents will be allowed to switch their phone provider and keep their number.

There will be a one-time fee carriers are allowed to charge each other in allowing for the switch of providers.

The fees to keep your phone number when you change providers will be less than $10.

The Regulatory Authority announced earlier this year that by March 3, 2014 both mobile operators — CellOne and Digicel — and BTC would have to be able to allow for number portability. 

Number portability is where if you have a phone number and switch providers, you can keep your phone number.

Friends

That way you don’t have to update it with all your accounts and friends every time you change.

The Regulatory made the move to further competition in the industry.

Philip Micallef, CEO of the Regulatory Authority, told the Bermuda Sun in some countries the carriers have agreed “not to charge each other as the number of portings out and portings in are the same. This happened in Malta... but it is up to the carriers whether they want to agree and not charge each other.” 


Phone users rejoice at policy change

At least one cellphone customer will be changing providers when the new policy comes into place which will allow them to keep their number.

Heather Roque was thrilled with the news. “Yay! That’s all I can say. The only reason I have stayed with the carrier I have is for the number. Thank God.”

Christopher Famous said he would not be switching because “I like Digicel just fine.”

IT specialist Ian Smith told the Bermuda Sun: “Hopefully, subscribers simply having the option will be enough to force a pricing concession.”

Which was echoed by Phillip Ray who said price and packages would be the determining factor. “Best deal gets the deal — Obviously when my current contract expires!

Andrew Paul Scaife recently dropped his combination of Logic and CellOne for “to go to an Internet/cell service bundle with Digicel at a better price. I have been with Northrock since inception and I was certainly not pleased with the service I was getting with the merger with Logic — Oh, well, I am happy now.”