7 Nov 2017
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines has reiterated its view that the introduction of the proposed Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act could attract new competition in the domestic market. In a Senate committee meeting on economic affairs, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarrios confirmed a view that, given the highly saturated nature of the local mobile market, any market newcomer(s) would be highly dependent on an instrument such as MNP to lure subscribers away from the de facto duopoly, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom. In September 2008 the ‘NTC shelved plans for mobile portability in the market’ because it was deemed ‘technically feasible, but not financially viable,’ Cabarrios said. The watchdog and the two heavyweights still support the measures, although PLDT’s Smart Communications mobile unit and Globe Telecom have suggested that the establishment of a third-party clearing house entity to manage and operate the database should be discussed further. The same goes for the technical aspects of the MNP Bill, they said. If realised, the incumbent cellcos are expected to shoulder the bulk of the cost of implementing MNP.