Finally, New Law Says You Can Keep Your Number Across Mobile Networks

You’ll always be reachable.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Have you heard the latest in tech and comms? If you’re constantly glued to your phone (following your fave celebs or reading Cosmo.ph, perhaps?), then this development was made with you in mind. The Mobile Number Portability Act was finally signed into law this month, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

So, what exactly does this mean for you? For starters, it enables you to keep your mobile number in case you want to switch service providers or alter your subscription plan. As a result, you get to safeguard your mobile identity—without the need for general text blasts that say, “Hey, I changed my number...” or the more blatant reply, “New number—hu dis?”

Since it’s always been such a bane to be tied to a mobile provider simply to keep your number, this law now grants you the freedom of choice. You can now opt for a provider possibly because of their clear billing statements, perhaps because of their amazing subscription plans, maybe due to excellent customer care, or probably even because they have a cute endorser and you got convinced. Either way, you stay because it’s your choice—and not just because you can’t let go of your cellphone number that corresponds to your anniv date.

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Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 8, the long clamored-for law levels the playing field across providers. Number portability allows subscribers to retain their mobile footprint, all while encouraging mobile providers to step it up. These providers now have to woo you to keep you. If you aren’t impressed, then you’re free to take your business and your number somewhere else.

If a telco company fails to deliver the provisions of the law, it can be fined up to P1 million (and even have its license revoked!) and may need to award up to P40,000 per subscriber for damages. That’s a pretty steep price for non-compliance. But then again, with 132 million mobile phone users hooked on mobile usage across the two mobile giants (Globe and PLDT-Smart), that’s a worthy fine to keep your operations in check and your subscribers happy.

The law thankfully comes with some other safeguards that are meant to protect consumers even more (hooray!). For example, subscribers are allowed to retain their numbers at no extra charge. Also, switching your number from one provider to another shouldn’t take more than 48 hours. This means that you’ll always be pretty reachable by family, friends, lovers, Tinder matches...get the picture?

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