Number Portability in Central America

INFO, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 25-37, 2007

13 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2012

See all articles by Martha Garcia-Murillo

Martha Garcia-Murillo

Syracuse University - School of Information Studies

Date Written: March 17, 2007


The purpose of the paper is to identify policy strategies for the implementation of number portability in Central America. It attempts to determine why carriers have generally been opposed to the implementation of this service and what regulators in the region can do to allow for the provision of this service. Using secondary data this paper provides an analysis of the economic and regulatory circumstances prevailing in Central America that will affect their number portability decisions. The conceptual piece of this paper identifies the negative economic incentives such as scale economies and revenue losses that will motivate carriers to delay implementation or increase switching costs for users through fees, long-term contracts, and quality deterioration of telecommunication services. Given the economic circumstances of the telecommunications sector in Central America, it is recommended that the region begin with national implementations with plans for a regional deployment. User switching fees should be kept low and number portability should be required of both wired and wireless providers. Several original ideas are presented in the paper. First, it identifies the economic disincentives that carriers have to implement number portability. Second, it focuses on a region that receives little scholarly attention in spite of the fact that many things can be learned from their experiences and third, it suggest a regional implementation of number portability which has not been done anywhere else in the world.

Keywords: mobile, regulation, number portability, regulation, Central America

JEL Classification: H54, K23, L96, N16

Suggested Citation

Garcia-Murillo, Martha A., Number Portability in Central America (March 17, 2007). INFO, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 25-37, 2007 , Available at SSRN:

Martha A. Garcia-Murillo (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - School of Information Studies ( email )

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Syracuse, NY 13244
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