Mobile Number Portability Rolls Out in the Philippines

Philippines starts rolling out its mobile number portability, enabling users to switch networks while retaining their phone numbers at the same time.
Philippines starts rolling out its mobile number portability, enabling users to switch networks while retaining their phone numbers at the same time. (Pexels Image)

Some people can’t get what they need or want in phone service. It’s why they switch to other networks but can’t use the same number with a new provider. However, with the country’s Mobile Number Portability Law implementation, users can jump from one network without changing their mobile numbers.

Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. is behind the emergence of mobile network portability. It consists of three giant telcos: Globe Telecom, PLDT’s Smart Communications, and DITO Telecommunity. The rollout started yesterday, September 30.

“We do expect to experience some inconveniences as we start offering the service, but we are confident that with the continued cooperation and hard work of our three partner telcos, we can say that finally, forever is here,” said TCI general manager Melanie Manuel. 

Prepaid and postpaid subscribers can switch providers and keep their numbers at no charge. About 1 million users can take advantage of the service during the introductory stage. Telcos claim that the mobile number portability law will provide better services and gain new customers.

The Mobile Network Portability (MNP) Act or RA 11202 provides users the liberty to choose the finest network and services that best suit their needs. Likewise, subscribers can change their postpaid plan to a prepaid plan and vice versa without the need to change numbers.

Terms and Conditions under Mobile Network Portability Law

  • Switching between providers is free for users
  • It will take two days to transfer telcos, and expect 4 hours of downtime before the transfer materializes
  • Both post and prepaid users can access ensuring that the locked-in period for postpaid users already expired without liabilities
  • No limit when switching between telcos
  • After an initial switch, a subscriber needs to wait 60 days before transferring to another telco
  • Users won’t be able to identify what service provider the other party uses
  • The transfer process starts with a text message before a user can pick up a SIM card, which is subject to improvements
  • The subscriber needs an active SIM and is the assignee of the porting mobile number
  • Users must have no existent court restraining orders
  • Subscribers must also not have a pending transfer of ownership

Protecting Subscriber’s Personal Information

Security and privacy are important matters when it comes to personal information. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian reminded TCI to ensure the safeguarding of subscribers’ personal information. They should also make sure that they establish cybersecurity policies. It will provide appropriate consumer welfare procedures during the porting process.

Gatchalian asked the National Privacy Commission and National Telecommunications Commission’s governance to ensure the law’s proper implementation. It will enable users to transfer between telcos without changing their phone numbers. The senator also stressed that subscribers don’t have to pay interconnection fees for texting or to call across various networks.

Moreover, he pressed the said agencies to assure the subscribers’ welfare. He advised the public against posting online mobile numbers without the owner’s permission. Fraudulent exposure of personal information, such as name and contact number, has its respective punishment under Data Privacy Act.

Transferring to Smart

Switching to the Smart network requires the user to secure a Unique Subscriber Code from the old provider. It’s a requirement together with a valid id and any documentation of the mobile purchase. Smart will process your application accordingly without any charges.

Transferring from one network to the other is a game-changer for the telecommunications company. It shoves them to improve their products and provide better services.