The Philippines’ mobile phone users may soon use the same number across the country’s three major telecommunication companies after the successful conduct of technical interoperability tests.
The country’s major mobile network operators, Globe, Smart, and the country’s newest major telco DITO, conducted the test on July 14, 2021, through their joint venture company, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI).
The joint effort will soon allow customers the option to keep their mobile numbers permanently, even when they change network providers or switch subscriptions, said the group in a media release.
By conducting a successful actual porting test, Globe, Smart, and DITO secured initial insights and details on how to address remaining concerns and possible challenges, before making the service available to all customers.
The telcos said the outcome of the initial tests are within expectations considering these were conducted amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The next steps will be to streamline the external porting process, implement fraud and security safeguards, optimize systems and backend business operations in time for a smoother and faster porting experience for customers by September 30, 2021.
Globe, Smart, and DITO are working to meet the July commitment with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to achieve initial technical readiness, before the actual interporting demonstration with the telco regulator, a key milestone in implementation of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act.
“As the newest player in the industry, we truly are excited to provide this service to Filipinos wherever they may be. When we entered the industry, it really was to encourage competition and innovation. 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,” said Atty. Adel Tamano, DITO Chief Administrative Officer.
“The initial tests gave us a clearer view of the customer experience when they avail of the MNP, including the experience of customers as they interport to Globe numbers from other networks and vice versa. 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,” said Issa Guevarra-Cabreira, Globe Chief Commercial Officer.
“We are working doubly hard with our counterparts from Globe and DITO to comply with the requirements. This is aligned with our company’s direction: customer-centricity as our True North. We have always been at the forefront of using technology to create better experiences for everyone, and the successful initial tests will help us understand and recalibrate our systems and processes, so we can make the MNP experience simple and easy for our customers. After all, making things simple, using technology, is at the core of the Smart brand promise,” said Jane J. Basas, Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Wireless Business.
Republic Act No. 11202, also known as the Mobile Number Portability Act, ensures that mobile phone users can keep their numbers even when they transfer to another service provider, or when they switch their subscription from postpaid to prepaid, or vice-versa.
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