MANILA - Mobile phone users can now keep their numbers while switching providers starting Sept. 30 as the mobile number portability law takes effect Thursday, the group formed by the Philippines' 3 major telcos said.
However, there might be some "inconveniences" as the law starts to be implemented in the country for the first time, Telecommunications Connectivity Inc said in a statement.
Under the measure, postpaid and prepaid subscribers can now switch providers and keep their numbers for free.
"We wish to announce to the Filipino people that as of today, Sept. 30, the core services of mobile number portability are now ready," TCI general manager Melanie Manuel said.
"We do expect to experience some inconveniences as we start offering the service, but we are confident that with the continued cooperation and hard work of our three partner telcos, we can say that finally, forever is here," TCI general manager Melanie Manuel said.
TCI was formed by DITO Telecommunity, Globe Telecom and PLDT's Smart Communications to oversee the implementation of the number portability law.
At least 1 million subscribers are expected to avail of the service at the initial phase, Manuel earlier said.
Telcos earlier said the law would prompt them to offer better services in order to keep as well as gain new subscribers.
Key provisions under MNP:
• Switching providers (porting out and porting in) will be free for users
• It will only take 48 hours to transfer telcos with about 4 hours downtime before the transfer takes effect
• Service is available for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers provided that the lock-in period for postpaid users has expired and that all liabilities are settled
• There is no limit to switching back and forth to and from any telco providers
• After completing a telco switch, there will be a 60-day period before a subscriber can request another transfer
• By default, consumers won't be able to tell what telco provider the other party is using
• The switching process will start with a text message before a SIM card will be made available for pickup (subject to improvements)
• Users need an active SIM and the requestor is the assignee of the mobile number to be ported
• Users should have no existing court prohibitions
• Users should have no pending transfer of ownership