Telcos expect at least 1 million subscribers to move networks

At least 1 million subscribers are expected to move from one telco to another when mobile number porting is implemented in the Philippines, said porting venture Telecommunications Connectivity Incorporated (TCI).

TCI is a joint venture of Dito Telecommunity, Globe Telecom, and Smart Communications.

TCI general manager Melanie Manuel said on Thursday, July 22, that the telcos are doing everything they can to roll out the service by September 30.

"In other countries, there are about 30% of the subscribers [who port to another network]. Initially, we are setting a million and then we'll make projections from thereon," said Manuel.

Number porting is moving from one telco to another, with the subscribers keeping their original mobile number. This was allowed through the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act signed in 2019.

MNP is also seen to make the industry more competitive, with the telcos expected to fight tooth and nail to keep their subscribers from porting out.

Globe has some 79.7 million subscribers, while Smart has 71.8 million, as of March. Dito, the newest telco which launched commercially in March, surpassed the 1-million subscriber mark in June.

By September 30, subscribers should be able to port to another telco for free. This will be open to both postpaid and prepaid subscribers.

The entire process, which includes fraud and security safeguards, should be completed within 48 hours, according to telco officials on Thursday.

If subscribers intend to change networks again after porting, they will have to wait for 60 days to reapply for the process.

For those who have postpaid plans, they will have to settle their liabilities first or wait for their contracts to end before they can move to another provider.

Last July 14, Dito, Globe, and Smart completed the technical and interoperability tests for MNP.

So far, the three telcos have already invested P120 million for MNP. Since the porting process is free, it will be the receiving telco that will cover the fees. – 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.

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