Empowering consumers: Anti-trust watchdog calls for mobile number portability
Mobile users unhappy with their current service providers may soon have the option of switching operators without changing their numbers.
This after the Philippine Competition Commission pushed the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the country to spice up the competition between telco giants Smart and Globe.
Consumers should have the power of choice to switch from one network to another while keeping the same number when faced with poor service from their telecommunications provider, PCC said.
PCC sought the inclusion of MNP in Senate Bill No. 1237 during a public hearing on Tuesday by the Committee on Economic Affairs. Prior to this, the competition watchdog recommended the inclusion of MNP in the franchise renewals of Smart and NOW Corp.
“In this age when a person’s phone number is considered part of one’s identity, changing numbers can sometimes mean lost opportunities, access, or connections. If MNP is in place, a person can retain one’s number without having to worry about that,” said PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan.
Consumers often stick to one operator even if they are dissatisfied with the service only because they are not ready to change their mobile number and update all their contacts with the new number.
BAlisacan said the launch of MNP would force network providers to improve their services to retain current customers and attract new ones.
MNP has long been available in many countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, and neighbours Malaysia and Singapore, he noted.
As the competition and antitrust authority in the country, the PCC submits recommendations to Congress.
PCC is the national government agency duly mandated by the Philippine Competition Act to promote competition in the market, prohibit anti-competitive conduct, and push for the level playing field among businesses, including the telecom sector.