PH telcos tap Syniverse for mobile portability services

MANILA, Philippines – Global company Syniverse is set to provide the mobile number portability services for the Philippines’ major mobile operators Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and new player Dito Telecommunity.  

On Thursday, December 26, the 3 local telecommunication companies announced they formed a joint venture tapping Syniverse for the technical infrastructure needed to implement the new law allowing Filipinos to keep their mobile number even if they change their mobile service provider.

“With recognition by the Philippine mobile operators, we are confident that the Mobile Number Portability project will be another key milestone marked in mobile services in the Philippines,” said Syniverse senior vice president of sales Paul Hodges. 

The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11202 or the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act states the telcos will equally shoulder the expenses for the software, hardware, and other facilities needed to implement the law, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February.  

The operating and maintenance costs are still to be determined by Globe, Smart, and Dito together with Syniverse. 

Syniverse said it would take about 18 months to set up the support mechanism for the MNP in the Philippines, but promised the services will be free of charge.  

Smart president Alfred Panlilio admitted “there’s still a lot of work to be done” before users can avail of the MNP services. 

“We are taking steps to put in place a seamless and efficient process for our existing and would-be customers who would like to avail of this service in the future,” said Panlilio.

Globe chief technology and information officer Gil Genio also cited the “technical and operational complexity” of implementing the MNP. 

“Our utmost priority is to ensure that the experience of our customers is seamless and of utmost convenience should they decide to port their numbers. We are one with the government in having our customers enjoy global mobile practices,” said Genio.

Under the MNP law, a mobile phone user needs to submit a "porting application if he or she wants to avail of the MNP when changing mobile service providers. A porting process will then kick in which the original provider moves the mobile number to the new provider, which the law refers to as the "recipient provider.” (READ: Adulting 101: How to apply for mobile number porting once the system's ready) 

Service providers that violate the law or refuse to implement mobile number portability will face various fines to be imposed by the National Telecommunications Commission.  

The penalties range from the minimum fine of P10,000 to as high as P1 million and the revocation of the telecommunication company's franchise if they refuse to implement MNP for the 5th time after mediation. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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