DICT moves to help subscribers unlock mobile phones | Inquirer Business

DICT moves to help subscribers unlock mobile phones

/ 05:26 AM December 15, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is making it easier for consumers to switch mobile providers ahead of the entry of a third telco player.

The DICT publicized a memorandum order on Friday directing the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to formulate rules that will compel the telcos to unlock the mobile phones of subscribers after their contract period ends.

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The order, dated Dec. 14, 2018, comes as lawmakers also move to pass legislation that will allow subscribers to keep their mobile phone numbers even when switching providers.

These are seen as preparatory steps after the NTC last month confirmed a venture between businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecom as the new major telco player.

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Based on the memorandum order, the DICT is targeting post-paid subscribers, who are subjected to a contract period and a whose mobile devices are typically “locked-in” to the issuer. The DICT order is seeking to undo the latter practice.

The DICT noted that upon the end of the contract period, the telco “should provide the subscribers convenient sites, facilities and processes to unlock the mobile phones or devices of subscribers who wish to change between compatible wireless service providers.”

The DICT added that this was provided that subscribers had no outstanding obligations to the service provider.

“This is an additional Christmas gift of this administration to the Filipino telco subscribers,” said DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. “While we empower the industry through the entry of the new major player, we are also pushing for pro-consumer measures.”

“This is also a step to encourage our service providers to innovate on their offers,” he added.

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TAGS: Department of Information and Communications Technology, Mobile phones
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