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1m mobile subscribers seen switching service under new law

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Telecommunity Connectivity Inc., the joint venture of the country's three mobile phone operators, said Thursday it expects a million subscribers porting out from their existing providers as the government enforces the Mobile Portability Law on Sept. 30 this year. 

"Initially, we are projecting a million, but in the other countries, we see that there are about 30 percent of the subscribers porting out," TCI general manager Melanie Manuel said in a virtual briefing. 

"So, we will prepare for it, but initially we were setting about a million in the initial stage and then we will project from them on," she said. 

The Mobile Portability Law ensures that the 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. 

The MNP, which will be commercially available on Sept. 30, is free of charge for the customer.  "It is not being paid by the subscribers, but will be paid by the new provider," she said. 

Globe Telecom Inc., Smart Communications Inc. and DITO Telecommunity Corp. invested P120 million in the MNP service. The three telcos tapped Syniverse to be the MBP service provider in the country. 

"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," TCI chairman Froilan Castelo said.

"Finally, after 22 months, we can say we are now ready to provide Mobile number portability in the Philippines," he said.

TCI president Mario Tamayo said telecom subscribers now have the power of choice with the implementation of MNP in the country. 

"Through mobile number portability, we are empowering our customers to pursue their passions and purpose," he said. 

The three telcos successfully concluded the initial tests of their technical capabilities and interoperability on July 14, 2021.



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