The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Act implemented on Sept. 30, 2021 failed to be a game changer as many telecom industry stakeholders expected, a lawmaker said.
DITO Telecommunity, the country’s third telco player, hoped to get a solid footing in the mobile market with the implementation of the MNP as it would allow customers to switch from one network to another without having to change their number.
However, Telecommunicatins Connectivity Inc. head Melanie Manuel, a former PLDT employee, said only more than 1,000 from over 100 million users “have successfully ported to their new networks” and did not give an estimate on how many were expected to switch.
House Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro believed that MNP’s seeming failure to excite and encourage users to switch networks were attributed to the following factors:
Late adoption of MNP in the Philippines in light of shift to data usage where a slew of voice and applications such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber Telegram, Line, IMO rendered MNP irrelevant.
Many Filipinos have dual SIMs which they want to keep to avoid extra charges for calling outside another network (prior to MNP) and avail of promos not offered by in one network.
The Philippines is comprised mostly of prepaid customers. Prepaid sims are very affordable and very easy to change. The novelty of changing providers is long gone as a number of customers have already experienced switching providers.
Filipinos tend to have affinity to their brand if they are satisfied. They stick to their brand like they stick to their political beliefs.
She also said it’s possible Dito is not yet well known in the country and there are those who are not confident about the services the third telco player could offer.
“Compared sa nakasanayan na nilang dalawang network, baka mas reliable ang mga ito kaysa sa third network,” said Castro.
The lawmaker also believed the subscribers’ decision was also affected by the controversy surrounding Dito like the issue on national security and the various complaints being labelled against the new network.