The Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has set a deadline of 30th September 2021 to begin the implementation of mobile number portability after delays caused by the pandemic.
TeleGeography reports that after the signing of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act in February 2019, the Philippines began introducing regulations around the service in July that year, with a view to full implementation in Q1 2021.
However, according to NTC Deputy Commissioner Ed Cabarios, the “community quarantine” that has been imposed in March 2020 due to the pandemic has prevented the market’s dominant players, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, from allowing MNP for users looking to switch network providers. The operators are both offering the service for subscribers within their networks, although only if they are switching from prepaid tariffs to post-paid.
Explaining the delay in an interview earlier in January, Cabarios said that the quarantine had “limited the movement of the clearing house tapped to finish the back-end of the scheme.” However, at a recent senate hearing Cabarios confirmed that interoperability testing for MNP was now slated for June, with the service to be introduced three months later.
The Philippines’ two established players, together with newcomer DITO Telecommunity, have set up a consortium known as Telecommunications Connectivity for MNP implementation, with Syniverse chosen to oversee the porting platform.