By: Patrick Alcantara
Are you worried of switching from one service provider to another? Or switching from postpaid to prepaid, and vice-versa, simply because you want to keep your phone? Fret not.
On June 11 2019, the National Telecommunications Commission released the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on the Mobile Portability Act which was signed into law in February 2019. The law provides for the creation of a Mobile Number Portability (MNP) – a single mobile number that subscribers may use, regardless of their network or the services availed of.
Gone are the days where your application from prepaid to postpaid would mean that you need to change your numbers. Or the simple switch from a service provider to another would require you to discard your previous number in exchange of a new one. Under the new law, you now have the option to choose to retain a permanent number.
Here are some of the important steps and processes to remember in case you are interested.
How to Apply?
In order to apply for an MNP, any subscriber shall request from their current service provider for a 9-digit Unique Subscriber Code (USC). Then the subscriber shall submit a porting application, or the application submitted by a subscriber to his/her mobile service provider to avail of an MNP, together with the valid USC. The porting application must be submitted to a Recipient Provider (RP) – this is a mobile service provider that shall provide the telecommunications service during the process of change or transfer of number.
Within 24 hours from the receipt of the application by a subscriber, his/her current mobile service provider shall determine whether the application is cleared or if there are any outstanding financial obligations that the subscriber has to settle with the service provider. During this 24-hour period, the mobile service provider shall activate the ported number or the new MNP and immediately inform the applicant.
The IRR strictly requires that the whole process must be accomplished within two days or 48 hours from the time that the subscriber has submitted his/her application. However, this period will not include the time that the subscriber will use in case there is a financial obligation that must be settled.
The same procedure shall govern if you are interested to apply for an MNP in case you will switch from postpaid to prepaid or vice-versa.
Who are disqualified or ineligible to apply?
The IRR also provides for the grounds to reject an MNP application by a current subscriber:
- The applicant has an outstanding financial obligation with his current service provider.
- The applicant has been previously blacklisted by the service provider due to previous fraudulent activities.
- There is a pending request for the transfer of assignment of the mobile number.
- The porting application is submitted within 60 days from the approval of another ported number.
- The mobile number to be ported is part of a bundled service or product offered by the service provider.
- The mobile number to be ported is the principal contact number in an account with multiple numbers.
- The applicant provides an invalid USC or does not match the applicant’s mobile number.
Any of these grounds shall be determined within the 24-hour period from the time that the subscriber submitted the application to the Recipient Provider.
Some final notes
The entire application for a porting number is free of charge, for any interested subscriber. The IRR also provides that Mobile Service Providers must not impose any interconnection fee or charge for any call or SMS made by a subscriber.