Telecom Provider Digicel is now stridently calling for the immediate implementation of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) to be extended to include Fixed Line Services in a bid to get at LIME lucrative Fixed Line Services. MNP and its helpful JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and ISCF (Island Special Constabulary Force) MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) already ratified into law since November 2010AD.
LIME is of course supportive but apprehensive knowing full well the implications as stated clearly by Director of LIME Chris Dehring, quote: “The reality is that the entire world is more attuned to mobile numbers than fixed Line. If somebody wants to get into a business that is not growing globally, that is their purview”.
Digicel is making a play for LIME’s still lucrative Fixed Line Network, which despite declining in usage, contributes the bulk of their earnings, mainly from Business and Corporate Customers that still use the older POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) and PBX (Private Branch Exchange) and are not so crazy about Digicel’s Cloud Telephony offering as laid out in Digicel Cloud Telephony to Make Switched Voice Extinct.
LIME can of course respond by deploying LIME HomeFone Xpress using Avaya’s VoIP Technology as its backend. In addition there is also the secret “Skunk Works” testing of FTTH (Fiber to The Home) by LIME. This is taking place in the upscale communities of Rhyne Park Community in St. James and Morris Meadows community located in St. Catherine as spoken of in Kelroy’s article LIME Jamaica rolls out 100 Mbps ‘Fibre to the Home.
The future of Fixed Line may indeed be Fiber Optic, capable of not only doing Voice Services, but Data Services such as Internet and Streaming Video, essentially a Cable TV Service as well.
Suddenly Digicel play for Fixed Line begins to make sense. As the current generation prepares for retirement, they are looking towards always-on more convenient hassle-freeServices and Fixed Line and Postpaid Services fit the bill; you just pay for your months Serviceusing you Scotia Visa Debit Card online as described in ScotiaBank’s VISA Debit Card – Jamaica’s Online E-Commerce Renaissance and How to use Scotia VISA Debit Card Onlineand no phone credit to purchase to make calls like a cell phone.
Fixed Line Services are set to become popular by 2015AD once again as Jamaicans getting older look towards reliable Fixed Line Services that traditionally have lower Calling Rates based on statistics from the OUR’s 2009 to 2010 Report. Rates as low as JA$0.99 to call other Landlines and all on Postpaid!
Who says digging through old statistical Datais a waste of time?
Interestingly enough, FLOW, whose Triple Play “Watch.Talk.Click” Service provides a VoIP telephony Service and had glibly acceded to the OUR’s Rate stipulations, is now all of a sudden fired up on the issue of Fixed Line pricing, calling LIME “Hypocritical”. The previously quiet FLOW is now all up in LIME Kool-Aid with regards to Fixed Line.
Fixed Line, once the poor stepchild of Mobile Services, is potentially is a big money spinner in the future as the Jamaican population prepares for Retirement. That is to say, once FLOW can actually spread their Triple Play Services of Cable TV (Watch), VoIP Telephony (Talk) and Broadband Internet (Click) all-island as per their All-island Cable License. Ditto too LIME and their FTTH Services being removed from the testing phase to an actual product, a modern slant on POTS and PBX capable of Triple Play Services as well.
Clearly Fixed Line Services are still important, as they represent a future revenue boom for VoIP Telephony, FTTH and Triple Play Services as copper-wire based POTS and PBX takes a back seat to these newer technologies.