Solon laments failure in implementation of Mobile Number Portability law

Published October 27, 2021, 4:29 PM

by Ben Rosario

An opposition leader in the House of Representatives lamented on Wednesday, Oct. 27 the unsuccessful implementation of the Mobile Number Portability (MN|P) Act that was previously trumpeted as a game changer in the country’s telecommunications industry.

House Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Frqnce Castro cited a number of possible reasons for MNP’s failure to live up to the expectations of a number of telco industry stakeholders.

It was reported that newcomer DITO Telecommunity had hoped to get a solid footing in the mobile market with the implementation of the MNP as it would allow customers to switch from one network to another without having to change their number.

However, Telecommunicatins Connectivity Inc. (TCI) head Melanie Manuel, said only more than 1,000 from over 100 million users “have successfully ported to their new networks”. No estimate was given on how many more were expected to switch.

Castro is convinced that MNP’s seeming failure to excite and encourage users to switch networks were attributed to the following factors: She said the late adoption of MNP in the Philippines in light of shift to data usage where a slew of voice and applications such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber Telegram, Line, IMO rendered MNP irrelevant.

Many Filipinos have dual SIMs which they want to keep to avoid extra charges for calling outside another network (prior to MNP) and avail of promos not offered by in one network.

It is a commonly-known fact that the Philippines is comprised mostly of prepaid customers.

Since prepaid SIMS are very affordable and very easy to change, the MNP is not an interesting proposition to cellular phone users.

The novelty of changing providers is long gone as a number of customers have already experienced switching providers.

Castro said Filipinos tend to have affinity to their brand if they are satisfied. They stick to their brand like they stick to their political beliefs.

She also said it’s possible Dito is not yet well known in the country and there are those who are not confident about the services the third telco player could offer.

“Compared sa nakasanayan na nilang dalawang network, baka mas reliable ang mga ito kaysa sa third network, (to the two already familiar networks, it is possible that these are more reliable than the third network),” she said.

The partylist lawmaker also believes that subscribers’ decision was affected by the controversy surrounding Dito like the issue on national security and the various complaints being labelled against the new network.