Changing to another telco or mobile network operator for better services and more affordable plans is a moneysmart way to manage expenses. While only three major companies – Smart, Globe, and DITO – monopolize the services, good coverage is a huge factor before making the switch.
Plus, if you’re like most Filipinos, you want to keep your number the same. After all, your contacts know it already. Fortunately, switching phone providers isn’t that complicated, thanks to the Mobile Number Portability Act or R.A. 11202.
What is the Mobile Number Portability Act?
The Mobile Number Portability Act ensures consumers have more control over their mobile numbers. It was enacted last September 30, which means prepaid and postpaid subscribers can keep their existing phone numbers when switching from one network to another.
This law is a welcome development for everyone who wishes for a better choice, convenience, and savings in deciding which network best fits their needs. With this act in place, it will be more accessible than ever for consumers to change networks while keeping their connections and contacts.
What’s the difference between internal and external porting?
An internal porting means you are moving within your mother network. For example:
For existing Globe subscribers:
- Globe prepaid to Globe postpaid
- Globe postpaid to Globe prepaid
- Globe prepaid to TM
For existing Smart subscribers:
- Smart prepaid to Smart postpaid
- Smart postpaid to Smart prepaid
- Sun and TNT to Smart prepaid or postpaid
An external porting means you carry the number of your mother network to an outside network or vice versa. For instance:
- Globe prepaid to Smart prepaid and vice versa
- Globe postpaid to Smart postpaid and vice versa
- DITO to Globe and vice versa
- DITO to Smart and vice versa
Eligibility before switching to another network
While anyone has the right to change to another provider, make sure your account is eligible for porting.
- The mobile number is active.
- The mobile number doesn’t have pending or unpaid bills or charges.
- Your handset must be an open line.
- The mobile number is not part of any service bundle.
- The mobile number must not be a primary holder of multiple accounts.
- The mobile number doesn’t have a pending transfer of ownership request.
- The mobile number must not be activated for an MNP within the last 60 days.
- The mobile number is not involved in any fraudulent activity.
What do I need to prepare before switching to another network?
If you’re eligible, here’s what you need to prepare.
- Unique Subscriber Code (USC) from your current network provider.
- Active prepaid or postpaid number
- Two (2) valid government-issued ID
- Cash on hand
- If you are a postpaid plan subscriber, bring at least one copy of the latest billing statement.
- If you are a prepaid subscriber, bring proof of ownership of your current number.
How to switch from Globe to Smart and vice versa
Once you have prepared the requirements mentioned above, follow the steps:
- Visit your current telco provider and ask for a copy of the Unique Subscriber Code. This is valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
- The representative will ask for your active mobile number. Wait for a few minutes, and you will receive the USC via SMS.
- Go to the service center of your chosen network and tell the customer service representative that you want to port your number.
- If you are a postpaid subscriber, you will go through the standard postpaid application process. Otherwise, show proof of ownership of your active prepaid number.
- Wait for the SMS notification for a successful Mobile Number Portability.
Anything else you should know about Mobile Number Portability?
The common issues that postpaid subscribers experience are pending and unsettled bills in their current mobile numbers. This can delay the porting, which can take a few days until you settle them.
Additionally, if you’re a postpaid subscriber and you happen to request the USC in the middle of your billing cycle, this could cause an error in retrieving the code. The customer representative at the service center will suggest you try again once your billing cycle is refreshed.
The USC is valid for 15 days from the date it was issued. You can always request one if you fail to submit or port your mobile number within the allotted time.
For postpaid subscribers, you can retain your existing plan once you make the switch. For example, if you have a Globe 599 plan, you may also get that at Smart with the Signature Lite 599 plan.
The data package may not have the same features as your current plan. Better check and read the terms and conditions before signing the contract.
Before visiting the service center, it’s better to call your network operator hotline and ask if your mobile number is eligible.
Just in time for the SIM Registration Act
The SIM Registration Act is a new law in the Philippines requiring all mobile service providers to register their subscribers and update their records. This security measure will take effect on December 27.
It puts a responsibility on the subscriber to ensure that their information is updated correctly, including name, address, and contact information are required. It’s an important step towards maintaining proper oversight over mobile service and reducing fraud and criminal activities.
You must enroll your SIM cards within 180 days or six months from the effectivity date of the law. Otherwise, your mobile number will be deactivated until you register it.
From a personal finance standpoint, it’s especially opportune now when you’re ready to switch networks or upgrade your device. So, make sure you read up on the new law before making the switch to avoid any potential issues.