After prodding from Senator Win Gatchalian, representatives from telecommunication companies Globe, Smart and new player Dito committed to rollout Mobile Number Portability this year and in phases.
This means subscribers will be able to switch networks or change subscriptions without losing the mobile numbers they currently use.
“They should implement the Mobile Number Portability Act (MNPA), even by phases, as long as it will be done within the first six months this year,” Gatchalian said.
“Telcos may opt to implement mobile porting for postpaid subscribers first within this year and after that, they can focus on the mobile number portability of pre-paid subscribers next,” Gatchalian explained.
Gatchalian, principal author of the MNPA, better known as the Lifetime Cellphone Number Act, has recently met with representatives from telcos and global technology service provider Syniverse and discussed how to expedite the implementation of mobile number portability services in the country.
Telcos earlier estimated that the process of integration, interoperability and other technical preparations would take some time and will make number portability services ready by the second half of 2021. But the lawmaker stressed that stretching the deadline that long is a disservice to Filipino consumers who are already fed up with the underwhelmingly poor and expensive services.
“Sinabi nila noong nagkaroon tayo ng pagdinig na ang teknolohiya ay nandiyan na at madali nang maimplementa ang batas. Kaya nagulat ako noong nalaman ko rin sa kanila na isa’t kalahating taon pa ang kailangang hihintayin ng ating mga kababayan,” Gatchalian reasoned out.
The law also removes the interconnection fees charged to subscribers for calling or texting across different networks. “Tututukan natin at sisiguraduhin natin na maipapatapud kaagad ang MNPA. Within the year, iyon ang kanilang commitment at yun ang ating tututukan,” the lawmaker said.