Frequently Asked Questions

Public Consultations
What is the Consultation process?

Consultations will be drafted by the RA and posted on its website for responses from all carriers, consumers and interested parties. Prior to this there will a series of advertising relating to that consultation. There will be a deadline for responses and at the close of the consultation; responses will be posted on the RA website.

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How do I make a response?

Responses to the consultation should be filed online or electronically in MS Word or Adobe Acrobat format. Parties filing comments electronically should follow the link and click on the “Click here to submit responses” icon which appears at the top of the page. Alternatively, Comments can be submitted via email to the address below.

Comments will be made publically available by the RA on the RA website unless declared confidential. Respondents are therefore asked to separate out any confidential material into a clearly marked annexed and provide reasons why such information should be considered confidential in writing to the RA. For clarity, the names of private, individual respondents to the consultation will not be made public.

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What happens after I make a response?

The RA will make a recommendation based on the responses to the board. The board makes a general determination and gazettes in the newspaper and the RA website. Finally carriers have a deadline to implement the new regulations.

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Will my response be made public?

Yes – however your name will not be posted, just your comments

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What if I have confidential information I do not wish to publish?

If you have confidential information that you do not want to be made public then make another submission without the private information so that it can be published.

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Where do I find a decision?

On the RA website – Click here (link to RA determinations) Your Feedback No content has been provided for this page. Decisions General determination page

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How Do I Give My Opinions?

Consultation responses can be made a various was to the Regulatory Authority. RA website, Online survey or Email to info@rab.bm

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Which countries will my unlocked cellphone or device work in?

If you are unsure whether your phone will work in the Country you are interested in, check the website of the provider(s) you plan on receiving service from to confirm the use of technology.

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Filling a complaint
What Kinds of things am I able to file a complaint about?

The Regulatory Authority intervenes when consumers have unresolved complaints against carriers. These complaints may be about, but are not limited to, telephone, mobile device, subscription TV, Internet Service and Access (Broadband) Service Providers, International Long Distance, Roaming Charges, or Billing.

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What should I do first?

Your first step is to contact your telecommunications service provider.

Before the Regulatory Authority can consider your complaint, the telecommunications service provider must be given an opportunity to resolve the matter with you.

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What if I get nowhere with my telecommunications service provider?

If your complaint remains unresolved after seven days after your initial complaint with the telecommunications service provider, you can submit a formal complaint with the Regulatory Authority.

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How do I submit my complaint?

You may submit a complaint via this web site, direct email at info@rab.bm, by calling the Regulatory Authority on 441-405-6000 or by visiting our office in Cumberland House, 3rd Floor, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton HM 11.

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What do I need to support my complaint?

You should be able to provide copies of any documentation relevant to your complaint e.g. bills, letter, receipts should be included to substantiate your complaint.

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Can I update my complaint with any developments?

Once you have submitted our complaint, you can update your complaint to tell us about any developments. All you need is your reference number, your name and address.

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How long does it take for the Regulatory Authority to resolve my complaint?

The complaint will be forwarded to the Telecommunications Service Provider by the Regulatory Authority for review, comment and resolution within a two week period. You will then be notified of the result. Some complaints may take longer depending on the nature of the complaint.

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What if my complaint is resolved by the Telecommunications Service Provider in the meantime?

You are asked to contact the Regulatory Authority in writing by email or call stating that the matter has been resolved to your satisfaction.

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Unlocking your cellphone or mobile device
What does it mean to unlock your cellphone or mobile device?

Cellular service works so that the unique serial number in your phone is used by the cellular service providers to identify who you are. With a quick database lookup it knows that a particular phone's serial number is your phone and knows how and where to transmit the signal to your device whenever a caller dials your phone number.

When a service provider ‘locks’ its phones, it means that its phones have been programmed to only work with SIMs issued by their company. Unlocking reverses the programming put on your phone by the provider so it can work with any SIM card from another provider on any compatible GSM network around the world.

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What is a SIM?

A SIM Card is a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) that is an integrated circuit which securely stores the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI). The SIM card contains your subscriber profile, which includes details about your subscribed services and features.

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Why would I want to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Once unlocked any GSM phone can work with any SIM. What this means is that you can use the same cell phone or mobile device with different SIM Cards from different networks around the world. Therefore, if you have already purchased a cellphone or device that you like and have learned how to use it, you will not have to change phones or devices if you change networks. You can keep the phone you have like, and all you need to do is replace the first network’s SIM with your new service provider’s SIM Card.

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How do I know if I have a GSM or CDMA cellphone or mobile device or not?

Check your cellphone or mobile device manufacturer website or the user manual that came with your cellphone or device or ask your provider.

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How do I unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Simply take your locked cellphone or device to the provider that you bought it from and make a request for it to be unlocked.

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What if I bought my cellphone or mobile device from overseas?

Bermuda’s cellphone service providers are not obliged to unlock Cell phones that have been purchased from a source other than a provider in Bermuda.

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How much does it cost to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Customers and former customers are entitled to have their cellphone or mobile device unlocked free of charge. The provider doing the unlocking shall bear full responsibility with the unlocking process.

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How long will it take to unlock my cellphone or mobile device?

Providers will unlock eligible cell phones within one business day after receiving a request.

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What if the provider takes a longer period of time or says my cellphone or mobile device cannot be unlocked

If the device cannot be unlocked, the Provider is required to provide an explanation as to why the device does not qualify for unlocking, or why additional time is needed to process the request before the end of the one day period.

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Can a provider refuse to unlock my cellphone or device?

Providers can decline an unlock request if they believe it is a fraudulent request or that the device in question is stolen or if the customer is not current on its outstanding bills for services (provided there is no legitimate dispute concerning those services) or some other good reason. If the provider refuses an unlock request, it is required by law to give an explanation as to why the request has been refused.

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How will I know if my cellphone or device is unlocked or not?

If you have requested to “unlock” your phone or device from a provider, first check with them to ensure the process has been completed after one business day. Your provider should be able to give you confirmation that your cellphone is unlocked at the end of the unlocking process. If you have not made a request and want to find out if your phone or device is unlocked before doing so, simply attempt to insert a SIM connected with a different wireless provider and see if your phone or device works. f it works, and your phone or device thinks it is its phone or device with that phone or device’s number, then your phone or device is already unlocked. But if it creates some sort of error message and doesn't work, then your phone or device is stilled locked.

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Can any cellphone or device be unlocked and used on another provider's network?

As long as the provider you are changing to uses the same underlying network technology and the same radio frequencies.

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Will my cellphone or device function normally after unlocking?

Your phone should function normally. The only difference is, you will be able to use it on other networks.

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Will my cellphone or device be unlocked permanently?

Yes. There will be no need to unlock your phone again if you change SIM cards.

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I've unlocked my cellphone or device, but when I turn it on, it still shows the name of the previous wireless service

This logo (called a 'splash screen') has been programmed into your phone by the company that sold it to you. It is not an indication of the company that now provides your phone service. Unlocking your phone removes the electronic restriction that prevents your phone from working with other SIMs from other wireless services. It does not change your splash screen. The good news is you can get rid of the splash screen without needing to unlock your phone. See if you can find in your phone's manual how to change the splash screen, or consider calling the phone manufacturer and have them walk you through it.

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Who can I contact if I have problems unlocking my cellphone or device?

If things don't go smoothly; contact your new provider to try to resolve the problem. If that does not work and you have no resolution after 5 days, contact the Regulatory Authority at info@rab.bm. For more information or register a complaint, you can visit our website at www.rab.bm.

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International Roaming
What is International Roaming?

International Roaming is a convenient system that allows you to use the same mobile device and phone number that you have in Bermuda, while travelling overseas, using carrier networks other than your own, and in countries where your cellular provider has a roaming partnership with those networks. This means that friends and family can still call or text you, as if you were still at home.

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How do I pay for International Roaming?

When you are roaming on another network, a mobile company from the country you are visiting will bill your usual mobile company for the calls using their network and these airtime charges are then passed on to you.Airtime usage is from the time a network processes a call until the time you hang up. Charges for calls placed while roaming internationally will appear on you regular bill and may take up to two weeks to process. Special rates apply for dialling and receiving calls, data usage or text messages while overseas.

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Can everyone use roaming?

It is important to check that your mobile device can roam in the places you are visiting. Check with your cellular service provider.

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How much does roaming cost?

Be aware that international roaming charges can vary considerably from country to country and from service to service. They can also add up quickly and you might accrue a large bill in a short time. When you talk to your cellular service provider, make sure you clearly understand what you will be charged for each type of action (i.e. SMS, making and receiving calls, and data usage). If you are unsure about the information given to you, ask for literature or speak with your provider to clarify any issues prior to using your service overseas. The Regulatory Authority recommends that you ask your provider about its policy on notifying you when you have accrued a high bill and whether you can monitor your usage online while you are travelling. When you talk to your provider, make sure you clearly understand what you will be charged for each type of action (i.e. SMS, making and receiving calls, and data usage). If you are unsure about the information given to you, ask for literature or speak with your provider to clarify any issues prior to using your service overseas.

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How do I get on to a roaming network?

Normally, your mobile device will have its setting 'Network Select' on Automatic, and this means your device will switch automatically to a network on which you can roam. Sometimes the automatic feature does not work, or your mobile is unable to search for a network if you are in a low signal area. In these instances you will need to manually select the network you want to use. Instructions vary from phone to phone, so please refer to the manual that came with your phone and follow the instructions for activating a particular service. Always be aware that roaming rates vary from carrier to carrier.

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Local number portability
What is Local Number Portability?

Local Number Portability (LNP) allows residential and business telephone customers to retain their existing telephone numbers when switching from one telephone or cellular service provider to another.

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How does Porting work?

The activity of moving a phone number from one provider to another is called porting. So, when you bring your number to a new provider you will be “porting in”. Customers switching from their previous provider will be “porting out” from that provider. You will also see "porting" referred to as “transferring” your number.

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When does porting become available?

Porting between cellular service providers became available from March 3rd, 2014.

Porting between fixed telephone service providers will be available from April 7th, 2014.

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What should I do to port my number?

Start by contacting the provider you wish to port your number to. You need to review the services they offer and the relevant contract agreements including the minimum contract period by going online or visiting a retail store.

When you have chosen the new service that you want, your new provider will check whether your existing number is eligible to be ported.

You need to sign a Porting Request Form to appoint the new provider as your agent to close your account with your previous provider. This form will contain important information about the porting (see below). If you are porting a fixed number you must indicate whether you want any Internet services associated with the number to be continued or also cancelled.

You will need to choose the services and features for your new account – the services and features of your old account will NOT be transferred. Contact your new provider to add any features you had previously.

Once the transfer is completed, you will be informed that you have full service with your existing phone number, and the former provider will deactivate the old service.

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What do I need to do prior to porting my number?

Keep your service active – Do not cancel the current service before switching. The number must be active to be ported.

Pay your accounts on time – Accounts must be paid by the payment deadline in order to be ported. If you have a bill where the payment is late you will be refused porting. This does not apply to pre-pay accounts.

Be ready to show the new operator your photographic ID – Take your photographic ID information to the new provider’s store or send them a copy.

Be ready to show the new provider a copy of your current bill - To make the process easier, please ensure that important information is readily available. Have a copy of your most current bill, and if possible, your contract. Read the contract carefully to learn about any applicable early termination fees and other contractual requirements like giving prior notice before termination. Providers will need your account number in order to quickly process your request.

Check your messages – Any messages stored in the network will be lost when the number is ported so be sure to listen to them just before you request porting.

Provide an alternative contact Number - Provide an alternative contact number where you can be contacted in case the port takes longer than anticipated.

Back-up ALL the contacts stored on your SIM. Write down or store contact information from your SIM and phone before beginning the porting process.

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What are the important things you need to understand about porting your number?

Only the authorised account holder can authorize porting – The store or customer service representative will accept a request for porting only from the authorized account holder. In the case of prepaid mobile services, any unused prepaid balance with the old provider will be lost on porting. In the case of fixed and post-paid mobile services, the balance of the old account including any early termination charges will need to be paid to the old provider.

Any messages on the Voice Mailbox of the old operator will be lost.

Mobile only: Any undelivered SMS and MMS being sent to a mobile number stated above will be lost after the porting process is complete.

Mobile only: The MMS service may not be available on the Recipient Network and so it may no longer be possible to use the MMS service

Mobile only: If the customer's existing handset is locked to the old provider’s network it will need to be unlocked or replaced. They may charge for unlocking.

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Should I cancel my existing services before porting my number?

NO. Your number must remain active and free from any other change orders during the porting process. Once your number successfully ports to the new provider your old provider’s account will disconnect automatically. If you do, cancel your existing services yourself, you will lose that number and you will not be able to port it.

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How long will porting between providers take?

If you request porting and the new operator forwards the request to the old provider on a working day before 9-30 am then if the new provider is ready to activate your new account as soon as the request is accepted then your new account should be working by 4pm on the same working day and the old account should be closed by 5pm on the same working day. For requests made at the weekend the porting would be completed by 5pm on Monday. Your new providers may, delay activating your new account by up to 5 working days. This will normally be done by the providers in consultation with you and for your own convenience. In the case of fixed provider the delay of up to 5 working days may be needed for the installation of a new line.

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Do I have to purchase a new mobile phone if I have a locked phone?

No. Your cellular phone provider should unlock your phone free of charge and your phone current can be used.

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Can all numbers be ported between any pair of providers?

Yes between cellular service providers but not between fixed providers. Not all fixed providers have elected to support porting in and out. This facility has been required by the Regulatory Authority and applies to:

All switching between mobile providers,

Switching from BTC, TBI, Link Bermuda, Logic, FKBNet CellOne and back.

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Am I obliged to pay my early termination fee if I am still under contract?

It will be your responsibility to review your existing contract with your old provider. You will need to fulfil any contractual obligations including payment of early cancellation fees to your old provider (if applicable), provided that your payments are not late; you can do this after the porting has taken place. It is your responsibility to pay your old provider’s invoices.

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Will the fact that I have an existing contract be a reason not to port my number?

No, provided that any existing invoice is not overdue.

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Will I experience a disruption in service when I port my number?

Not necessarily. Your new service will become active before your old service is deactivated, so you should always be able to make an outgoing call on one service or the other. During the period between your new service being activated and the old service being de-activated, incoming calls and SMS may be delivered on one network or the other depending who is calling. If possible you should keep handsets and mobiles active on both networks until the old account has been deactivated

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Will all of my added services be transferred when I port my number?

No. They will not be transferred and you will need to set them up again with your new provider. The new operator may not offer exactly the same services and you should check this before changing provider.

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Who can I contact if I have problems porting my number?

If things don't go smoothly; contact your new provider to try to resolve the problem. If that does not work, contact the Regulatory Authority for more information or register a complaint at www.rab.bm or email lnp@rab.bm.

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Managing Data on Your Mobile Devices
Why do I need to manage on my mobile device?

It is important to note that your mobile device may use both voice and data technology so that you can communicate however you wish. When data is involved while roaming, (e.g. sending and receiving emails, surfing the web, using Apps), significant charges can result. It is important therefore to monitor your data usage and to check with your cellular service provider about data charges while roaming.

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Can I make sure that I don’t use data while roaming?

Yes, it is quite easy to turn off data when roaming. Follow the simple steps listed below for your mobile device or check your user guide.

Using Wi-Fi where available is usually a much more cost effective way to get data. Also check around you. Many hotels, restaurants and even airports offer free Wi-Fi. Most smart devices have “airplane mode” which will turn off all networks so that you will not incur roaming charges.

iPhone

To use voice but not data roaming:

Go to Settings --> General --> Network --> Select OFF under Data Roaming

To access Wi-Fi:

Go to Settings --> General --> Network --> Select ON under Wi-Fi

BlackBerry® Smartphone

To use voice but not roaming:

Go to Options --> Mobile Network --> Data Services --> Select Off When Roaming

To access Wi-Fi:

Go to Manage Connections --> Service Status --> Select Wi-Fi and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Connection

Sony Ericsson phone

To turn off email client when roaming:

Go to Messaging --> Email --> Settings --> Edit Account --> Advanced Settings --> Allow Connection --> Select Home Network

Nokia phone

To turn off email client when roaming:

Go to Menu --> Messaging --> Email --> Options --> Email Settings --> Automatic Retrieval --> Header Retrieval --> Disable

Samsung phone

To use voice but not data roaming:

Go to Settings --> Connectivity Data Roaming --> Disable

LG phone

To use voice but not data roaming:

Go to Settings --> Wireless Controls --> Mobile Networks --> Data Roaming --> Disable

iPad

To turn off data services when roaming:

Go to Settings --> Cellular Data --> Select OFF under Data Roaming

To access Wi-Fi:

Go to Settings --> General --> Network --> Select ON

Samsung Galaxy Tab

To turn off data services when roaming:

Go to Home --> Menu --> Settings --> Wireless and network --> Roaming --> Roaming Settings --> Domestic and International --> Unselect Data

Can I get some simple tips to minimize my cellular service bill while roaming?

  • Turn Mobile Data and Data Roaming “OFF”.
  • Turn Fetch New Data “OFF”.
  • Use Wi-Fi instead of 3G/GPRS/EDGE.
  • Use various mobile Apps to make free calls over Wi-Fi.
  • Consider purchasing a SIM card from the country you are visiting.
  • Minimise making long and local distance calls while roaming.
  • Minimise the use of the GPS setting on our mobile device.
  • Leave your mobile device off during your trip.
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