Telcos brace for 1 million subscribers switching under MNP

Published July 22, 2021, 3:06 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

Local telcos are readying for at least one million subscribers switching to other network providers when Mobile Number Portability (MNP) takes effect this September.

In other countries implementing MNP at present, 30 percent of subscribers transfer to other networks, on the average, local telcos revealed Thursday, (July 22) in their virtual joint presscon under Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI).

The country’s major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) – Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc. and DITO Telecommunity formed TCI as a joint venture company to comply with the government’s MNP Act.

However, the name of the game is quality service, not promos, although the network provider offering the most attractive promos may initially compel subscribers to transfer, according to the telcos.

Over the long run, subscribers will opt to stay with the telco who provides the best service.

MNP allows customers to keep their mobile phone numbers permanently, even when they change network providers or switch subscriptions from postpaid to prepaid, or vice-versa.

Hence, portability encourages subscribers to transfer providers more easily.

Subscribers “port in” or transfer to another provider free of charge under the MNP Act. The provider to whom they transfer will shoulder the cost of their porting.

Furthermore, they can “port in” and “port out” of network providers for an unlimited number of times, local telcos today confirmed.

However, if a subsciber “ports in” a new provider, he has to wait for 60 days before he can “port out” – transfer to a third provider or come back to his former provider.

Also, a subscriber who is “porting out” will have a four-hour lag time before he can use his mobile phone number again.

Telcos can carry out the switch within 48 hours.

So far, local telcos have successfully concluded their interoperability tests before the middle of this month and expect to make it to the September 30, 2021 MNP deadline.

Right now, they are streamlining the external porting process, implementing fraud and security safeguards as well as optimizing systems and backend business operations .

They are also fine-tuning the MNP application procedure which should be available online.

Nevertheless, subscribers still have to go in the store to get their new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards when changing providers.