Starting September, consumers can switch network providers -- Globe, Smart and DITO -- without changing their numbers as the telcos fully implement the Mobile Number Portability Act, officials told a Senate hearing.
The three telcos were tasked to form a consortium, called the Telecom Connectivity Inc, to make switching carriers without changing numbers happen.
Why is this important? Senators said phone numbers are tied to subscribers online and e-commerce accounts. In mobile banking, phone numbers are enrolled to enable OTPs or ine time passwords that are sent via SMS.
Here's a video of the Senate hearing late Wednesday. Skip to the 1 hour, 42-minute mark to watch the entire exchange.
The pandemic has pushed back the milestones for the implementation of the law, NTC Deputy Commissioner Ed Cabarios told senators.
First, telcos will start implementing intra-network portability by the second quarter of 2021. This means consumers can switch between prepaid and postpaid plans while keeping their numbers, he said.
Second, Telecom Connectivity Inc, which will allow switching of networks without changing numbers, should be fully operational by Sept. 30, he said.
Roy Ibay, Smart Communications for legal affairs, said inter-operator testing will begin in June with the full commercial launch set in September.