The mobile phone service business will face a turning point on December 5, 2010, because the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) has announced that Mobile Number Portability service by mobile phone service providers will become effective on that day.
According to a survey conducted by KResearch, it was found that 48.5 percent of the sampling groups were interested in changing to other mobile network providers despite a fee. Given the current fee of THB99, it is estimated that only 10 percent of our respondents wanted to switch networks.
Aside from the porting fee, other factors that mobile service users will consider for choosing the right network for them include service quality, signal coverage and promotions. With current competition in the market, it is expected that the number of people using Mobile Number Portability service will not be high.
However, such service may grow in the future after operators launch other marketing strategies and develop non-voice services to attract users of other networks, while maintaining their existing customers. In addition, 3G and other non-voice services relating to 3G will be another important factor because they will help increase the number of users for networks that launch 3G service early.
Mobile Number Portability service will initially have some limitations that may affect popularity, such as the possible loss of their outstanding balance on a prepaid account, and the minimum subscription period to a new operator of three months. During the early stages of MNP service, it will be available for only 100 numbers per day, per network provider, and only be allowed in Bangkok. Meanwhile, full availability for all users nationwide will be effective in January 2011.