telecommunications companies

Globe, Smart in word war over mobile porting delays

Aika Rey
Globe, Smart in word war over mobile porting delays
Smart Communications files a complaint with the National Telecommunications Commission. Globe Telecom says the complaint was 'done in bad faith.'

Smart Communications accused rival Globe Telecom of “general unpreparedness to implement the Mobile Number Portability Act or the MNP law,” saying that customers of Globe’s GOMO wanting to switch to Smart are encountering difficulties.

Smart sent a letter to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) about GOMO’s delayed compliance with the MNP law, which was launched on September 30 and allows subscribers to switch to other networks while keeping their numbers.

GOMO is an all-digital brand that runs on Globe’s network.

“Even the President of the Philippines cannot stop the law from being implemented. How then can a unilateral act of one covered by the law, delay implementation?” said Smart regulatory affairs manager Kenneth Regañon in the letter sent on Wednesday, October 6.

He stressed that the MNP law applies to all mobile service providers.

“We do not believe that Globe is above the law, that is why we are asking the commission’s clarification on this issue,” Regañon said.

Birthing pains

Globe said there was no intent to violate the MNP law, adding that GOMO users will be able to avail of mobile porting starting Tuesday, October 12.

“Being transparent to our GOMO customers, we have sent out SMS advisories on the delay of MNP service readiness to keep our customers fully informed,” Globe said on Thursday, October 7.

Globe added that there would be birthing pains, as earlier said by Telecommunications Connectivity Incorporated (TCI), the venture created by Globe, Smart, and Dito Telecommunity.

“This is especially true in our case because of our multiple brands that have multiple functionalities which are differentiated from our core brands,” Globe said, adding that its core brands prepaid, postpaid, platinum, and TM are already allowing MNP services.

It said that it has yet to receive a request from a GOMO customer wanting to switch networks.

“We are sincere in our intent to give our mobile customers the ability to choose their favorite provider and we are doing our best to comply. We are also grateful to our customers for choosing Globe over other providers,” the telco said.

‘Done in bad faith’?

In a separate statement on Thursday, Smart asked Globe to resolve the issues. The Manny Pangilinan-led telco also sent a letter to Globe.

“Given all the serious shortcomings in the first 72 hours, carried over and magnified in the first week of implementation of the MNP law with no committed timelines for permanent fixes, the pressing issues are beyond just ‘hiccups,'” Regañon said in his letter to Globe.

Smart also raised its concerns with TCI “in three separate letters over the past week.” Smart noted that it logged a “38% rejection rate by Globe” – for those wanting to switch to the former – allegedly due to technical issues.

Globe fired back at Smart, saying that it appears the rival telco’s complaint was “done in bad faith.”

“All issues and wins of the MNP service are being discussed at length at the management committee of TCI. All service providers are aware of the challenges currently being experienced. It does seem this complaint is being done in bad faith on the part of Smart,” said Globe. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.