1M mobile subs expected to switch providers starting end-Sept

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The country's major telcos should expect a heightened head-to-head battle as an initial one million subscribers are expected to avail of mobile number portability following its implementation by end-September.

"Initially, we’re projecting a million. But in other countries we see about 30% of the subscribers porting out, so we will prepare for it," said Melanie Manuel, general manager of Telecommunications Connectivity Inc.—the joint venture of Globe Telecom, PLDT's wireless arm Smart Communications, and DITO Telecommunity.

"We’re setting it at about a million at the initial stage," she added.

TCI will focus on facilitating the porting in and porting out service.

READ: Smart, Globe, DITO a step closer to cell number portability

Dominant telcos Globe Telecom and PLDT ended the first quarter with 79.8 million and 71.8 million mobile subscribers, respectively.

Meanwhile, new player DITO Telecommunity just hit the one million mark last June, three months after it launched its services in the market.

Once the service is up and running, Manuel said telco carriers would be further encouraged to bolster their networks, and improve and expand their products.

This, as the Mobile Number Portability Act will not limit subscribers in switching to other providers that offer the best service.

Prepaid or postpaid subscribers are covered by this law. But Manuel said they have to first clear their financial obligation with their current service provider before tapping other networks.

Manuel noted that subscribers also need not worry about shelling out money, as telcos are committed to shouldering the porting fees.

Last week, the telcos completed the initial tests of their technical capabilities and interoperability.

The outcome of the technical tests is "within expectations," the industry players said in a previous statement.