Mobile Number Portability (MNP) as a global practice enables a mobile phone customer to keep their number even when they switch networks or change their subscription from postpaid to prepaid and vice versa.
Basically, this means you could switch telecommunication networks without having to change your mobile number. The process starts with Porting Out from your old network to Porting-In to your new network. It should be free of charge. Mobile Number Portability has already been implemented in countries such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, among others.
10 Things About Mobile Number Portability in the Philippines
1) What initiated Mobile Number Portability in the Philippines?
In the Philippines, MNP was initiated by 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. This was started several months back and is now nearing completion and implementation in the country by the 3 major networks Dito, Globe, and Smart; and led by TCI or Telecommunications Connectivity Inc.
2) What is TCI?
TCI or Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI), is the joint venture company formed by DITO, Globe and Smart to enable number porting services in compliance with the Mobile Number Portability law. The TCI is the implementing arm for all activities between mobile service providers on one hand and the mobile number portability service provider (or the clearinghouse) on the other.
3) Why is there a need to put up a separate joint venture?
A separate entity is required to facilitate decision making and approvals in the various contracts that will be entered into during the course of the implementation of mobile number portability. It will be too unwieldy to secure approvals from the 3 operators of any decision or contract that will have to be entered into with third parties.
4) What are the benefits of MNP?
MNP helps promote consumer welfare by fostering the freedom to choose and to respond to quality, price and other relevant considerations without consumers having to change their mobile numbers whenever they change mobile service providers or subscription plans. Porting is FREE.
“The entire telco industry and the Philippine government are pushing forward with the same goal of providing Filipinos with better telco services. 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.. Na walang alinlangan. ” said Atty. Adel Tamano – Treasurer, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. ; also Chief Administrative Officer, DITO Telecommunity
5) How to conduct porting services?
To port within networks, one needs to meet the following requirements: ● An active SIM and the requestor is the assignee of the mobile number to be ported
- No remaining balance from your previous bill (for postpaid)
- No existing court prohibitions
- No pending transfer of ownership
6) When can a customer start porting?
MNP will be commercially available in the Philippines on September 30, 2021.
“Mobile Number Portability is a complex process not only do we need to adopt it into our system but we need to integrate it with the networks of our competitors. MNP involves close coordination with the other telcos to build the system and how the system will react to provide that good customer service. It took us 22 months to build MNP, upgrade the system, integrate with the MNP service provider, and do testing with the other telcos. We also studied how other countries implemented mobile number portability, and how we can adopt that in the Philippines. 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,” adds Atty. Froilan Castelo – Chairman, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc.; also General Counsel, Globe Group of Companies.
7) Given the pandemic, what challenges did each of the MNOs encounter during the technical testing phase?
Unlike earlier implementations of MNP, the mobile business has grown in complexity because of the vast array of service offerings and customization that are attached to a mobile number, which may not easily be unbundled when moving to another service provider. The three operators also have different channels for topping up prepaid loads and differ in systems which greatly affect interoperability.
8) How much did the MNOs invest in this venture?
The operators invested a total of Php 120 Million, so far. It is expected, however, that they will spend more because under the Mobile Number Portability law, the service is free of charge for he customer.
9) What is Syniverse?
Syniverse was chosen by the Philippine mobile operators through a technical and commercial evaluation system to be the mobile number portability service provider (MNPSP). The company will bring in the technical infrastructure to fulfill its primary function as clearing house for the three telcos and ensuring smooth implementation of number porting services.
“We want to make sure that we can give the best solutions and services to the Filipino people. Gusto natin pagaanin ang buhay at pasimplehan ang proseso para sa bawat telco subscriber by giving them the power of choice. Through mobile number portability, we are empowering our customers to pursue their passions and purpose. Ang DITO, Globe at Smart ay katuwang ng ating gobyerno upang palakasin ang telco industry sa Pilipinas,” shares Mario Tamayo – President, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc.; also SVP and Head of Technology, PLDT and Smart
10) Who is the TCI General Manager?
Melanie A. Manuel has been named as TCI’s Interim General Manager. Manuel is an Industrial Engineering graduate whose telco work experience includes Domestic Carrier Relations, International and Domestic Settlements, Settlement Systems, IS Business Analysis, and Human Resource Management.