New MNP system speeds up process
Mobile operators must shorten the time they take to process a mobile number portability (MNP) request for porting a phone number to the customer's new operator to a maximum of two calendar days, instead of at least three days previously.
The new paperless system came into effect on Jan 20, said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
The new regulatory provision is aimed at ensuring consumers take full advantage of market competition and enjoy greater convenience.
MNP enables mobile users to retain their phone numbers when switching from one mobile network operator to another.
The NBTC has required all mobile operators to provide MNP since 2013.
Mr Takorn said the regulator had received many complaints about the paper-based MNP process that was very complicated and took several days to be approved.
The new system requires only one day to activate after a MNP request is submitted by a customer to the old operator via their mobile phone by dialling *151* plus their ID card number, pressing # and making a phone call.
The user can then contact the new network operator by showing a text message that contains a quick code and a message from the old operator confirming that the MNP request has been received.
Under the old MNP system a mobile user had to contact their operator and write their details on a paper form. The old operator would then send the user's information to the new service provider. The process took at least three calendar days to complete.
Mr Takorn said the new system is expected to eliminate the complexity of the number porting process as it will be done through the digital channel.
Up to 50 million mobile numbers have used the MNP service since the system was launched in 2013.
Mobile users heavily ported their numbers during 2013 and 2014, taking advantage of the aggressive promotional tariff packages offered by the three major mobile operators.
Prisana Ratanasuwanasri, senior vice-president for postpaid division of Total Access Communication, said the new MNP system poses more requirements for mobile operators.
True Move H Universal Communication, the 4G arm of True Move, yesterday launched a promotional campaign by giving away 4G-enabled mobile phones to customers who port their numbers to the company's network.