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PH telcos forge deal for ‘lifetime’ cellphone numbers

December 26, 2019

Smart, Globe, and new player Dito Telecommunity have signed a deal wit a global firm that will allow subscribers to keep their cell phone numbers even if they change networks. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 26) — Telecommunication giants Smart and Globe, and new player Dito Telecommunity have signed a deal with a global company that will allow subscribers to keep their cell phone numbers even if they change networks.

Ayala-owned Globe Telecom announced Thursday that the three mobile service providers formed a joint venture to partner with American tech firm Syniverse to implement the Mobile Number Portability Act.

Republic Act 11202 signed in February allows Filipinos to keep their mobile numbers even if they change networks or shift from postpaid to prepaid subscription, and vice versa. Currently, mobile users are forced to change numbers when they sign up under a new network.

“The company will bring in the technical infrastructure to fulfill its primary function as clearinghouse for the telcos and ensuring smooth implementation of number porting services,” Globe said in a statement.

The networks are looking to integrate their systems in 18 months after setting up support mechanisms.

READ: Permanent mobile number law said to be felt once third telco begins operation

The rules also require the mobile operators to “equally share” the expenses incurred for the facilities and software needed to run the mobile number clearing house. The networks added that the service will be “free of charge” to customers.

Globe said that on average, foreign countries which implemented permanent mobile numbers took 27 months — or a little over two years — to make the shift beginning from the issuance of implementing rules and regulations.

Dito Telecommunity, the new network run by businessman Dennis Uy with China Telecommunications, is set to go live early 2020.

READ: Dennis Uy’s Dito wants to corner 30% of telco market in 3 years

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PH telcos forge deal for ‘lifetime’ cellphone numbers