The lower chamber of the Chilean National Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, yesterday approved the country’s long-awaited number portability (NP) bill. If adopted, NP is to be valid for pre-paid and post-paid mobile subscribers, as well as fixed line users.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the issue of mobile number portability (MNP) has been controversial in Chile since August 2008 when incumbent cellcos Movistar, Entel PCS, VTR and Nextel Chile, as well as regulator Subtel, joined in a legal battle against the anti-trust commission, which ruled that the implementation of MNP was a prerequisite for 3G licensing to take place. The cellcos successfully argued that number portability would take at least two years to implement, and would therefore unnecessarily delay the 3G auction. Although it was not a prerequisite for 3G licensing, MNP remained high on the list of priorities for the regulator and in August last year, the government published rules on the formation of a technical committee to oversee its introduction comprising of representatives from Subtel, mobile network operators and fixed line telephony providers.