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Senate OKs Lifetime Cellphone Number Bill

The Senate has approved a version of a bill that aims to allow telecommunications subscribers to keep their mobile number for life, even if they change providers or subscription plans.

Senate Bill 1636, or the “Lifetime Cellphone Number Act”, sponsored and authored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, gets a nod in the upper house with 20 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and no abstention.

The bill, if enacted into law, would primarily require public telecommunications entities in the country to provide consumers with “mobile number portability (MNP),” or the ability to retain one’s existing mobile number even when he or she moves from one service provider to another, or when he or she changes subscription to postpaid to prepaid, or vice versa. Hefty fines await those who violate, as┬átelecommunications entities who would delay, withhold, refuse or otherwise not deliver the benefits of mobile number portability to a mobile subscriber within “24 hours from the time such subscriber completed his or her porting application,” could be penalized with fines up to P1 million, or with total revocation of their operating franchises.

The Senate version of the bill included an amendment introduced by Senator Panfilo Lacson that seeks to remove the interconnectivity fees imposed by telecommunications entities on subscribers for calls and messages across different networks.

“The bill would free them from such shackles and allow them to transfer to the telecommunications entity that offers the best customer service, network coverage and quality of service,” he said. The bill noted that the nationwide MNP system would also promote competition among telecommunications entities, and stimulate them to “provide consumers with the best overall value that they can offer. It will also foster technological innovation that will lead to an even greater demand for telecommunications products and services, and lead to a virtuous cycle of economic growth,” the bill said.

“The bill would give consumers them the freedom to choose the provider that would give the best value for their money without having to lose or change their mobile numbers,” Gatchalian said.

The upper and lower house versions of the bill will now be reconciled in a bicameral conference committee before submitting to the President for enactment into law.

Source: Senate PR


Carl spots the newest devices and best deals in town as a Senior Correspondent and creates lists of everything and anything tech with Fast Five. Feel free to drop him a line at @lamielcarl!

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7 Responses

  1. John Galt says:

    so pati mga naka prepaid sims pwede na mag upgrade to postpaid plans… hassle din kasi carrying phones will SIMS from the same provider , my prepaid no. is over 15 years old :D

  2. K L says:

    mahirap na malaman kung anung network ka na… the promos should be applied to all networks unli txt to all networks, 60 mins to all network kapag na patupad na to.. tama si Ping dapat wala na fees

  3. Ryan says:

    Yes. Love it. This is better especially when you relocate and the network support in the area sucks. You can transfer anytime.

  4. c says:

    “mahirap na malaman kung anung network ka na” +1 so if you are a developer you will not be sure if you have to send the sms to globe or smart for example. that would be expensive then if you send the sms to another telco specially if you have unli texts for one network etc

  5. Dicube says:

    does ATnT or Verizon have this also – because it will be difficult to identify.

  6. Trapik says:

    Sana pati mobile phones purchased from local telcos are unlocked.
    Can you enlighten us also why they lock it? E magbabayad naman yung customer nila . Salamat po.

    • noneym86 says:

      They want you to use their network. Yes magababayad ka but thay are hoping na magexceed ka sa bill mo para mas malaki pa kita nila.

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