In the early years of the real market opening for cell lines, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad lost 518,000 customers to the hands of private companies.
Since number portability became effective on November 30, 2013, there have been 782,000 changeovers, according to figures from the Sutel requested by Nacion.com.That figure represents 10% of the 7.5 million mobile phone lines registered in December 2015.
The bill being discussed in Congress notes that implementation, operation and maintenance costs will be borne by the operators.
Bill 5029, which has already been approved by the commission and will be discussed by the plenary in the coming days, states that users can switch from their operator up to 5 times per year, and this will only be done on active lines.
From August 24 procedures will be enabled to allow for the transfer of fixed and mobile telephone lines from one operator to another.
Almost six months late, the General Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGET) has announced the start of number portability, whose implementation is in the hands of the company ImCard-MEDIAFON.
Final testing is being done and by the end of August the system to transfer fixed and mobile telephone lines from one operator to another will be ready.
Since February the company Imcard-Mediafone has been working on implementing the system which will enable number portability in the country, which could be ready in September, according to spokesmen announced the General Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications (Siget).
The telecoms company plans to invest $50 million in equipment to expand 4G network coverage in remote areas of the capital.
Digicel El Salvador announced plans for 2015 to invest about $50 million, ie $10 million more than the invested made to upgrade technologies in 2014. Besides this project, the company will be updating the central management system for telephone calls, following the entry into force of number portability in the country.
Only El Corte Inglés and the consortium Imcard-Mediafone submitted bids for $2.3 million and $1.7 million, respectively, in the competition for awarding number portability in the country.
Although initially more companies had shown interest in the tender, the General Superintendence of Electricity and Telecommunications received only the two aforementioned offers. It is expected that during this month the contract for administration of number portability will be awarded.
Fourteen companies have registered to provide a service that up until now has been dominated by the state operator, operating 97% of basic telephone lines.
By June 15, 2015 at the latest, operating companies must be prepared to offer service and maintenance in porting numbers, as is done with cell phone lines
Crhoy.com reports that "... The Telecommunications Superintendency established a maximum date as high for operators to start providing the number portability service for landlines, which is a right of the phone users."
An announcement has been made that the bidding rules for the tender for managing the porting process will be presented in the coming months.
The Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications confirmed with Elsalvador.com that "... the tender committee will be in charge of portability, which in turn will be integrated after the Portability Regulation has been officially presented, now that it has been completed."
Systor International will be responsible for managing the porting process, which will be funded by operators of frequencies for mobile phones.
Authorities from the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), as well as executives from the mobile operators Tigo, Claro and Hondutel confirmed that the Norwegian company Systor International will is responsible for the operation, administration and management of the central database for the number portability process.
After the opening up of the telecommunications market, the number of postpaid cellular lines are down from 1.6 million in 2010 to 1.1 million as at the end of 2012.
Prepaid connections currently represent 80% of the lines that exist in the country, while two years ago the figure was barely 49%, according to a study by the Telecommunications Superintendency (Sutel).
With its entry into force in late November, both the regulator as well as telephone companies predict fierce competition because of attempts to retain and attract customers.
"This law promotes stronger dynamism in the market and gives the user the power to negotiate what suits them. It requires companies to provide more service. It is a climate of true market competition," said Eduardo Castellon spokesman for the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel).
During 2013 there were 66.834 changes in suppliers, just over 1% of the number of active lines.
The figure is a slightly up from 2012, when 58,388 users switched providers during the same months.
According to Chilean firm LookUp, Panama ranks number three in Latin America in terms of the highest percentage of portability, surpassed only by Chile and Colombia, where the number of changes of provider represent 3.23% and 1.06% of the number of active lines.
Conatel has put out to public consultation a project for a network identification codes for number portability, which will include all the numbers assigned by telephone companies in the country.
The project specifications state that the code will allow identification of service providers networks for purposes of cell phone portability, allowing users to retain their number even if they change company.
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