The Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) announced yesterday (27 January) that the rollout of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) – delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will start by 30 September 2021.
The Philippines had intended on introducing MNP in the first quarter of this year under the remit of the Republic Act 11202 – also known as the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act – signed in February 2019, with implementing rules and regulations (IRR) taking effect from 2 July 2019. Whilst the two dominant operators Globe Telecom and PLDT’s Smart Communications had already started to allow MNP within their respective networks – albeit only for subscribers shifting from pre-paid to post-paid – they are yet to allow it for anyone wishing to switch network provider, NTC Deputy Commissioner Ed Cabarios said, due to ‘the community quarantine’. In an interview earlier this month, Cabarios pointed out that the widespread quarantine imposed in the country since March 2020 has ‘limited the movement of the clearing house tapped to finish the back-end of the scheme’. However, in a recent Senate hearing the deputy commissioner now confirmed interoperability testing for MNP will be conducted in June with its introduction to follow three months later.
Globe, Smart and new third player DITO Telecommunity have formed a consortium called Telecommunications Connectivity, and tapped global firm Syniverse to implement the porting platform.