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Enhancing Mobility through Digital Improvement in the Philippines

With the introduction of digital technology and the introduction of broadband, the Philippine mobile industry has seen significant technological progress over the last two decades, arguably changing the world more quickly and profoundly than any other innovation.

Despite having only two mobile operators, the Philippines’ mobile market remains dynamic, and both operator networks have improved. This two-operator scenario, however, is about to change. In July, the Philippines’ third national player telecommunications company plans to deploy a technical launch to ensure the operator complies with its licence requirements.

With the launch of the country’s mobile number portability, the Philippines’ major mobile network operators announced last Wednesday that they had successfully completed the initial tests of their technical capabilities and interoperability. The joint effort will soon allow customers the option to keep their mobile numbers permanently, even when they change network providers or switch subscriptions.

Considering the ongoing pandemic, mobile network operators stated that the results of these preliminary technical tests are “within expectations.” Following the positive results of the preliminary tests, the next steps will be to streamline the external porting process, implement fraud and security safeguards, optimise systems and backend business operations in time for a smoother and faster porting experience for customers by September 30, 2021.

By conducting a successful actual porting test, all Philippine network providers gained preliminary insights and details on how to address remaining concerns and potential challenges before making the service available to all customers. The companies have worked diligently to meet the July commitment with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to achieve initial technical readiness, before the actual interpreting demonstration with the telco regulator, a key milestone in the MNP process.

“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,” said one of the telecom company’s Chief Administrative Officer.

“The initial tests gave us a clearer view of the customer experience when they avail of the MNP, including the experience of customers as they interpret to the company’s numbers from other networks and vice versa. We learnt a lot in the process, and we will apply them to make the transition easy and seamless for our customers once the Mobile Network Portability (MNP) becomes available to all,” stated the Chief Commercial Officer of the telecom company.

The ability to port one’s mobile phone number reinforces the principle of a liberalised market with an open, competitive environment. It gives users more power and flexibility to use competition to their advantage, rewarding innovative operators who provide a higher quality of service at a lower cost.

The Mobile Number Portability Act, also known as Republic Act No. 11202, ensures that mobile phone users can keep their numbers even if they change service providers or switch from post-paid to prepaid, or vice versa.

OpenGov Asia had stated in an article based on a report, “A Better Normal Under Covid-19: Digitalising the Philippine Economy Now”, says the use of digital technologies in the country has been on a rise since the social distancing measures and limited social interactions have been in place due to the pandemic. Technology has helped individuals, businesses, and the government sail through these tough times.

Mobile Network Portability (MNP), on the other hand, enables smaller operators to easily attract new customers and increase market competition in the broadband market. It follows that the average user in a country with MNP will have access to lower prices, faster speeds, and a more competitive market than a user in a country without MNP.


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