Consumers who plan to switch subscription plans or telecommunication networks will soon have the option to keep their numbers permanently with the full commercial launch of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Project on September 30, 2021.
This puts the Philippines at par with other countries implementing MNP including Australia, HongKong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
“This marks a milestone as the Mobile Number Portability Act comes into fruition. It is a sure win for the Filipino people after the three telecommunication companies contributed their resources to bring MNP into life amid challenges brought by the pandemic,” Telecommunications Connectivity, Inc. (TCI) General Manager Melanie Manuel said during today’s press conference.
Globe, PLDT’s Smart Communications, Inc. and Dito Telecommunity Corp. formed TCI in view of the passage of Republic Act 11202 or the Mobile Number Portability Act in 2019.
The three telecommunication firms invested P120 million for the MNP Project, that will enable, for the first time, number porting services in the country.
“Barring fortuitous events, we will be able to implement the MNP by the September 30 deadline,” she said.
Manuel said about 30 percent of the subscribers are porting out but TCI is initially setting up a million ports and will project from thereon.
Consumers can avail of the MNP for free. However, the new provider will pay TCI a porting fee.
“But we will not stop at the porting fees; we will explore other business opportunities for TCI and if there’s a need for additional funding then the three companies will have to chip in again,” she said.
HOW PORTING WORKS
- The subscriber sends a text message to 5050 asking for an application for porting
- Subscriber will get a unique subscriber code to be presented to new provider of his choice
- Validation if this number has outstanding accounts
- Validation if this number was used for fraudulent activities
- After passing all four conditions then the number is eligible for porting
- Synivers will advice new and old networks that they can proceed with porting
“The subscriber can initiate the porting application through a text message but upon receipt of advice that the porting application is approved—the subscriber has to physically go to the store to get a new SIM,” Manuel said.
TCI created to implement the MNP Project
“The creation of TCI is in compliance with the requirements of the MNP Act and its implementing rules and regulations, but ultimately It is for the benefit of the consumers,” PLDT Technology Group Senior Vice President & Head Mario Tamayo said.
After a review of global best practices on MNP implementation, Tamayo said all the three firms agreed that the best option is to create a joint venture company that will implement and manage the project.
“We are leveraging our team’s experience in running mobile portability in Singapore and many other countries,” Syniverse Technology Senior Product Manager Bob Bruce said. Florida-based Syniverse Technology will provide seamless porting transactions with the end goal of providing the best customer experience.
DITO Chief Administrative Officer Atty. Adel Tamano said the past two years was “incredibly exciting for telecommunications in the Philippines as we saw the crucial role played by telcos in the lives of our fellowmen.”
Tamano said the MPN will not only grant Filipinos the freedom to switch to their preferred mobile provider, but it will also encourage healthy competition among the country’s telecommunications industry.