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Want to Switch Telcos? You Can Keep Your Number Starting September 30

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Subscribers who want to switch mobile phone networks but want to keep their existing number may do so starting September 30. That’s when Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI), the joint venture among the three telcos for mobile number portability, will start commercial operations. 

TCI General Manager Melanie Manuel said the group is trying hard to meet the deadline.

“Barring any (unfortunate) events we should be able to implement by September 30,” Manuel said during a press briefing on Thursday. 

The Mobile Number Portability Act (Republic Act No. 11202) requires telcos to allow subscribers to shift from one provider to another without changing their mobile numbers. 

TCI said it has been able to deploy the necessary infrastructure for mobile number portability in less than two years through a combined investment program of P120 million.

Subscribers may “port out” or transfer out of their original providers and “port into” another by applying for a service transfer for free. They need to meet the requirements of having an active SIM card with no remaining balance, must have no pending transfer of ownership, and no existing court prohibitions.

The entire process of porting out and in will take about 48 hours, which Manuel said “is quite quick for a complex process.”  

“MNP will encourage competitors to expand their network, improve customer experience, and products and services,” she said. 

“The entire telco industry and the Philippine government are pushing forward with the same goal of providing Filipinos with better telco services,” Dito Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano said. “Aside from encouraging healthier competition amongst the players, MNP also grants Filipinos the freedom to switch to their preferred mobile service provider seamlessly and conveniently without hesitations.”

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Globe Telecom Inc. General Counsel Froilan Castelo meanwhile said that the MNP is a complex process that needs to be studied further.

“We studied how other countries implemented mobile number portability, and how we can adopt that in the Philippines,” he said. “We also need to consider the pandemic situation and how we will adapt under such circumstances. We have involved the best people in our organizations in this project. A lot of brainstorming happened, testing and developing all possible scenarios that can happen in MNP and finally after 22 months we can say we are now ready to provide mobile number portability in the Philippines.” 

“We want to make sure that we can give the best solutions and services to the Filipino people,” added Mario Tamayo, SVP of Technology for PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. “We want to simplify the process for every telco subscriber by giving them the power of choice. Through mobile number portability, we are empowering our customers to pursue their passions and purpose.”

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