Chile’s Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has announced that intermodal number portability will be available from 5 September 2016, with no geographical restrictions. Under the new system users will be able to carry their number between fixed and mobile networks and across regions. To protect customers from additional costs, operators will be required to warn customers if a change caused by portability would incur extra fees, for example if the destination number had been ported from a fixed line to mobile. Commenting on the development, telecom minister Andres Gomez-Lobo said: ‘As a government we seek to democratise telecommunications services, improving access and coverage throughout Chile and full portability is in line with that [aim], as users of telephone services will not have any limitations when porting [their] number, creating more options for users and thus increasing competitiveness in the industry.’
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February this year Subtel unified the numbering systems for fixed and mobile under a nine-digit structure. Previously, mobile numbers used an eight-digit system whilst fixed numbers used a ten-digit system. To align the two, calls to fixed lines dropped the first ‘0’ of the number, whilst calls to mobile lines now require users to add an extra ‘9’ to the start of the old number.