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Trend towards Dual-SIM Smartphones developing in Jamaica as MNP Approaches

Dual-SIM phones have been popular in Jamaica before the Cross Network rates went down as regulated by the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) Sunday July 15th 2012 as reported faithfully in LIME drops Cross Network Calling Rate to JA$6.99 to kick off a 3 year Battle for Mobile Market Dominance and Digicel launches “4G” Mobile and JA$2.89 Sweeter Deal in a bid for Prepaid Extinction.

(MNP) Mobile Number Portability, the ability to port you Phone number across Telecom Networks whenever you change Telecom Service Providers, had been promised for December 2012. This is yet to materialize, despite promises for MNP and a single Telecom Regulator , about which the GOJ is earnest as Bruce Golding had mentioned a year and seven months prior as noted in New Telecom Act Coming for Jamaica – Providers surprised with their Own Regulator.

MNP is a necessary step toward acquiring a new Area Code as requested from the NANP (North American Numbering Plan) by the OUR in February 2013. This new Area Code would double the Number Ranges in Jamaica and allow for a New Telecom Provider. So clearly MNP is a necessary step to demonstrate to the NANP that the eight million numbers we got back when Digicel came to Jamaica were well utilized.

Dialling-Format-Used-in-NANP-Countries

But MNP, as predicted in my article Digicel wants Fixed Line as a part of Mobile Number Portability in a Triple Play for Cloud Telephony Dominance would benefit both customer and Telecom Provider, provided customers would be hip to going Postpaid. This as it would create registered customers, the prime target market for MNP, as opposed to Prepaid customer, who hardly spend money on Mobile Credit or Services.

For them, MNP would have to be something they’d have to pay for, with Postpaid customer been allowed to port their numbers across Networks either freely or via paying an in-contract MNP fee. Thus a trend towards dual-SIM smartphones is actually being fostered in Jamaica as Jamaicans become enamored with smartphones as noted in Apple iPhone boosts Jamaican smartphone usage as BB goes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The trends at MWC (Mobile World Conference) indicates as much, with smartphones that were Dual-SIM being featured prominently at the February 25th 2013 pow-wow of Telecom Industry big-wigs.The news wasn’t all about Samsung Tizen as they vie to get some of the App Economy action as concluded in Samsung’s Tizen OS launched to partake in Apple and Google’s App Economy.

Telecom Providers are also moving away from Google Android towards LiMo’s (Linux Mobile) Truly Open Source HTML5 compliant smartphone OS such as Firefox OS and Ubuntu OS, all of which seemed destined to launch in the Second Quarter of 2013.

Blackberry, pre-MWC-2013 as it launched on the outer edge of January 2013 as Kelroy reported in BlackBerry 10 Officially launches – Z10 and Q10 flagship devices is also making waves. Their Z10 smartphone for the masses and Q10 for those of us who aren’t so hip to touchscreen is selling better than expected after launch, making the answer a positive “yes” to fellow blogger Horace’s article Blackberry 10: Can It Rescue Blackberry? . More on that in future analysis articles later

For us in Jamaica, this news coming from the MWC Mobile Telecom world is irrelevant. Those cheaper smartphones as promised are yet to reach us here in Jamaican and may only reach us by the end of 2013, depending on local Telecom Provider support and their smartphone supplier commitments.

Still, the attraction to the Dual-SIM smartphone despite their hefty price offers the following clear advantages in the coming MNP Age:

  • You can enjoy the best of Both Worlds BOTH in terms of Voice and Data in ONE SINGLE device
  • Separate your Work/Private/Professional and Play/Home/Party Life in a single device
  • Easier Travelling abroad as you can change SIM Cards to utilize any GSM Network in that country instead of buying a new smartphone all over again

For those of you in Jamaica the market for a smartphone, here’s a quick list of a few Dual-SIM smartphone out on the market as this nascent trend gear up for the Summer of 2013:

  • XPeria Miro and Xperia Tipo
  • ViewSonic ViewPhone 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos and Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos

Samsung Galaxy Y Duos and Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos

So as the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining advance plans for MNP and a Single Regulator by Summer of 2013 effectively the Third Quarter of 2013, if you’re a Prepaid customer, now would be a good time to start shopping around for an unlocked Dual-SIM smartphone if Postpaid isn’t to your just liking to take advantage of MNP.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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