Kyron Regis

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Digicel Trinidad has filed a court injunction against a mobile competitor which Guardian Media Ltd understands is bmobile.

The injunction was filed to cease bmobile’s rejection of thousands of Digicel subscribers wishing to port (switch) their numbers to the Digicel network.

In a release, Digicel said it “has been concerned at the high level of unsuccessful ports over the past two months.”

Digicel also assured it continues to observe the agreed industry process for porting. According to Digicel, these proceedings have been filed to ensure customers’ freedom to choose their preferred mobile operator is respected.

“This is about doing what is right for customers. Over the past year, we have made significant investments to ensure we can offer the best and most reliable customer-focused network in T&T.

“Now we are standing up for customers who wish to exercise their freedom of choice,” Jabbor Kayumov, Digicel TT CEO said.

He said the company remains excited that thousands of its subscribers want to switch to Digicel, adding that it looks forward to welcoming them to the Digicel family, where they are “guaranteed a better experience, with much more value.”

In a recent interview with the Business Guardian, Kayumov expressed concern about bmobile’s “anti-competitive behaviour.

“If my customer wants to port, my job, and I keep telling my team, is to ensure his exit experience––it’s not only onboarding experience, it’s exit experience––if you want to leave, I want you to have to best experience, so it’s going to happen as smooth as possible,” Kayumove said.

He claimed that out of 100 per cent of requests sent by bmobile customers to port their numbers to Digicel, 90 per cent was rejected without any legitimate reason. According to Kayumov these statistics are known due to the interaction of the two mobile companies on the Telecommunications Authority of T&T’s (TATT) porting platform. The porting platform is a third party tool where the porting requests are generated.

Kayumov explained when a bmobile customer wants to port a number to his or her network, an application has to be filled out to enter into a contractual relationship with Digicel––that request is then sent from Digicel to bmobile on the porting platform requesting the customer’s number be released and transferred.

Kayumov added there are some legitimate reasons why some numbers cannot be ported. For instance, if a customer is bound to the terms of a post-paid contract or owes money to the operator, then the number would not be released to port to the other network, he explained. A healthy rejection level, Kayumov said between five to 20 per cent, noting that Digicel’s rejection ratio is around 15 to 17 per cent.

“If my customer wants to leave, if he owes me nothing, I’m letting him go––as smooth as possible, as quick as possible, so he has a good customer experience,”Kayumov added.

When contacted for comment, bmobile said the matter is currently before the courts, hence TSTT would refrain from commenting. In recent response to Digicel’s threat of legal action, bmobile had said it is able to facilitate porting transactions in either direction and in full compliance with all technical protocols as mandated by TATT.

It also wished Digicel “the very best in its efforts” to resolve any technical difficulties it (Digicel) may be experiencing on its (Digicel’s) end. Bmobile had also reiterated its commitment to working with Digicel to validate all network-to-network protocols.