“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.”, Atty. Froilan Castelo, Chairman, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. General Counsel, Globe Group of Companies.
By now, you must have already heard in the news about Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI) and “Mobile Number Portability”. Want to know more? Below are helpful questions and their corresponding answers to fully understand Mobile Number Portability.
Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI)
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. After the commercial launch on Sept. 30, would there still be a need for TCI?
TCI will be coterminous with the implementation of mobile number portability. For as long as the law requires mobile number portability, TCI will continue to exist for the same reasons it was organized. Note though that TCI will just be on limited manpower complement.
Mobile Number Portability
5. What is MNP?
Mobile Number Portability or 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. The process itself is free of charge.
6. What is the MNP Law?
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.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. When can a customer start porting?
MNP will be commercially available in the Philippines on September 30, 2021.
10. Given the pandemic, what challenges did each of the MNOs encountered 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.
11. How much did the MNOs invest in this venture?
The operators have 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 the customer.
12. 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.