MOBILE PHONE users will be allowed to switch networks without changing contact numbers.

CONSUMERS switching telecommunication networks are a step closer to retaining their contact digits after the securities regulator cleared the creation of a new company that will ease the portability of mobile phone numbers.

“We wish to update you that we received the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission on the incorporation of Telecommunications Connectivity, Inc. today,” Globe Telecom, Inc. told the stock exchange on Tuesday.

The new company will “enable number porting services in line with the new mobile number portability initiative of the government or Republic Act 11202 also known as the ‘Mobile Number Portability Act’,” Ayala-led Globe said.

Telecommunications Connectivity was jointly put up by the country’s major telecommunication firms with the passage of Republic Act 11202 or the MNP Act. The law, which was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in February 2019, allows mobile phone users to switch networks without changing their numbers.

Globe, PLDT, Inc.’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. and Dito Telecommunity Corp. announced in a joint statement on Dec. 26 last year that they were investing in the new company that will enable number porting services.

Under the law, mobile number portability refers to the ability of a mobile postpaid or prepaid subscriber, who has no existing financial obligation to the service provider, to retain an existing mobile number despite having moved from one mobile service provider to another, or to change subscription mode from postpaid to prepaid or vice versa.

The law requires telcos to provide mobile number portability to subscribers nationwide free of charge. Every telecommunication service provider has to change subscription mode within 24 hours from the time a subscriber submits application.

The telcos have said they had tapped Florida-based Syniverse as mobile number portability service provider (MNPSP) that “will bring in the technical infrastructure to fulfill its primary function as clearinghouse for the telcos and ensuring smooth implementation of number porting services.”

Under the MNP Act’s implementing rules and regulations issued in July, the operators “will equally share the capital expenditure for the software, hardware and other facilities required by the MNPSP.”

Syniverse is a company that assists mobile operators globally in managing and securing their mobile and network communications. — Arjay L. Balinbin