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Subscribers can keep their numbers even if they switch network by September 30!

Starting September 30, mobile phone users can switch networks or change their subscription without having to change their numbers.
File photo: realme Narzo 20

No need to change mobile phone numbers for subscribers

During a Senate hearing, The National Telecommunications Commission announced that that the Mobile Portability Act or Republic Act No. 11202 will be fully implemented by telcos and it's going to take effect on the said date. This was signed by President Duterte last February 2019.

Under this act, telcos are prohibited from locking in mobile devices to their respective network, regardless of whether the device is sold as a unit or under a service contract.

The subscribers also do not have to pay a fee should they decide to retain their mobile numbers. The law also removes interconnection fees charged to subscribers for calling or texting across different networks.

The NTC Commissioner Ed Cabarios said interoperability testing will be conducted in June. According to him, this is a long-overdue project that got held back because of the pandemic.

Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Dito Telecommunity had formed an association called Telecommunications Connectivity. They tapped global firm Syniverse to carry out the porting platform. 

Under this Mobile Number Portability Act, a smartphone user should submit a porting application if he/she prefers to change provider. Meanwhile, Telecommunications Connectivity will handle the data for porting services. 

Because of that, Senator Grace Poe raised an inquiry if the said association can also manage the work for the proposed SIM card registration bill. However, Smart Communications VP for Legal and Regulatory Affairs Roy Ibay explained that it could only be accomplished in "limited capacity". He added,

We assume that not everyone at a certain point, will have to port.… We've been in touch also with other carriers–like in Malaysia, MCMC, what they did was they implemented this alongside their implementation of the national ID.

There are already seven bills were filed in the Senate which propose the registration of SIM cards to prevent criminal activities and scams.

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