Chileís telecoms regulator Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced the launch of mobile number portability (MNP), which commenced on 16 January. Chilean wireless subscribers are now able to switch providers whilst retaining their phone number. Subtel encouraged customer mobility further with a ban earlier this month, forbidding the sale of carrier-locked handsets, and imposing on operators an obligation to unlock devices for free.
Subtel reported that in the first day that the service was operational, 1,190 subscribers switched provider, with Entel gaining the most new users from the service, and Telefonica Moviles Chile (Movistar) losing the most. Entel saw net additions of 333 customers, mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Grupo GTD gained nine new customers, and Nextel added just two. Claro and Movistar saw net losses of 66 and 279 respectively. All of the nationís telcos chose to absorb the CLP377 (USD0.74) fee per number ported.
Whilst MNP was launched nationwide simultaneously, fixed number portability (FNP) is being launched region by region, having started in Arica in December last year. Santiago will be the next region to receive the service in March, with the final areas due to receive the service by the end of February next year. Subtel has launched a separate website (http://www.portabilidadnumerica.cl/) to inform customers of the changes and to assist with the porting process.