Cellcos complete interoperability tests as MNP edges closer

16 Jul 2021

Filipino mobile network operators (MNOs) Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and newcomer DITO Telecommunity have successfully completed initial technical and interoperability tests as part of the government’s implementation of Republic Act No. 11202 (aka the Mobile Number Portability [MNP] Act). In a joint statement the three MNOs confirmed that, working in conjunction with their joint venture (JV) company Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI), the initial tests had been ‘within expectations’ meaning that soon mobile subscribers across the country will be able to keep their number when switching to another provider.

Commenting on the development, DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano said: ‘As the newest player in the industry, we truly are excited to provide this service to Filipinos wherever they may be. When we entered the industry, it really was to encourage competition and innovation. With the Mobile Number Portability Act, we have broken down barriers and have given the Filipinos the power of convenience to finally switch to their preferred service provider.’ Echoing Tamano, Globe Chief Commercial Officer Issa Guevarra-Cabreira noted that the company had ‘learned a lot in the process’ and as a result hoped ‘to make the transition easy and seamless for our customers once the MNP becomes available to all’. Meanwhile, Smart’s Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Wireless Business, Jane Basas, said the tests would allow the MNO to ‘understand and recalibrate [its] systems and processes, so we can make the MNP experience simple and easy for our customers’.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database confirms that the MNP Act was signed in February 2019, with implementing rules and regulations (IRR) taking effect from 2 July 2019. The Philippines had intended on introducing MNP in the first quarter of 2021 under the remit of the Act, but the rollout was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will start by 30 September 2021.

Globe, Smart and DITO formed the JV consortium TCI, and tapped global firm Syniverse to implement the porting platform.