Telcos portability tests a success; Sept. 30 launch set
The Philippines is moving closer to allowing subscribers to easily shift between telcos and plans without changing their mobile numbers as Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and DitoTelecommunity completed “initial” interoperability tests this week.
This comes ahead of the actual rollout of number portability on Sept. 30 to fulfill the requirements of Republic Act No. 11202 that was signed into law by President Duterte on Feb. 8, 2019.
The country’s three major telco players issued a joint statement on Friday to announce the conclusion of interoperability tests using their joint venture company, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc.
“By conducting a successful actual porting test, Dito, Globe and Smart secured initial insights and details on how to address remaining concerns and possible challenges, before making the service available to all customers,” according to the joint statement.
They described the results as “positive” and said the next steps would involve optimizing the external porting process, implementing fraud and security safeguards and preparing their back-end operations.
Apart from number portability, RA 11202 also removed all interconnection fees for local calls and text messaging.
The number portability service would also be free of charge while processing should take no longer than 48 hours, according to the rules issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
The law allows subscribers to move between their preferred telcos and plans without penalties. But it was less useful for those who maintain multiple SIM cards and devices or an emerging number of users who rely on internet-based messaging that do not require phone numbers.
Dito Telecommunity, a startup that launched commercial services on March 8, said it would boost competition and innovation among mobile players.
“With the Mobile Number Portability Act, we have broken down barriers and have given the Filipinos the power of convenience to finally switch to their preferred service provider,” Adel Tamano, chief administrative officer of Dito, said in the statement.
Jane Basas, senior vice president of Smart and head of consumer wireless business, said they were also working to make the process “simple and easy for our customers.”
Issa Guevarra-Cabreira, chief commercial officer of Globe, said the initial tests would ensure the smooth implementation of number portability.
“We learned a lot in the process and we will apply them to make the transition easy and seamless for our customers once the MNP becomes available to all,” she said in the same statement.
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