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Adulting 101: How to apply for mobile number porting once the system's ready

Starting July 2, mobile phone service providers will start complying with the Mobile Number Portability Act, a law which allows consumers to retain their phone numbers when switching to another service provider or switching from postpaid to prepaid.

It represents an easy way for subscribers to choose the best telco services and plans for them without having to go through all the potential hassles of having a new number – a hurdle that may have sometimes prevented subscribers from switching plans or networks even if they wanted to.

Service providers, such as Globe and Smart, will have 6 months starting July 2 to set up their systems and processes in order to facilitate mobile number portability for their respective customers.

What this means is that within 6 months, customers will be able to expect easy mobile number portability and that processes have been smoothened out by the mobile service providers to accommodate porting requests.

To qualify for mobile number portability, below are the requirements, according to a Memorandum Circular by the National Telecommunications Commission:

  1. The subscriber must not have any outstanding financial obligation to the mobile service provider they are porting away from. That means if you’re a Smart subscriber switching to Globe, you have to be free from financial obligations with Smart.
  2. The mobile number being ported must be free from any lock-in period with the original service provider.
  3. 60 days must have passed after the day of the number’s activation before it becomes eligible for porting.
  4. The subscriber has no pending request for transfer of assignment of the mobile number.
  5. No court of law is prohibiting the porting of the mobile number.
  6. The subscriber is not blacklisted by the service provider due to previous fraudulent activities.

If a subscriber meets all these requirements, they can apply for porting. Here are the key steps:

  1. A 9-digit unique subscriber code has to be requested from the original service provider. The subscriber presents the code along with a porting application to the new service provider.
  2. The original service provider and the new service provider will coordinate for subscriber clearance (i.e outstanding balance, legal issues), which they must complete within 24 hours.
  3. If cleared, the new service provider will activate the ported number within 24 hours. Barring clearance issues, the porting process should take only 48 hours at the most.
  4. For porting a number from a postpaid to prepaid plan and vice versa, a porting application has to be submitted to the service provider. The process is expected to be completed within 24 hours.
  5. Porting a number from prepaid to postpaid will however subject a subscriber to the same policies and requirements asked of new plan applicants.
  6. Mobile number portability is free of charge.

– Rappler.com