NTC slashes interconnection rates on text messages, voice calls
Marje Pelayo • July 20, 2018 • 3387
FILE PHOTO: A woman uses her cell phones in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) effectively reduced interconnection rates on text messages and voice calls.
According to NTC Memorandum 05-07-2018 dated July 19, Smart Communications and Globe Telecom are ordered to lower interconnection charges for short messaging services (SMS) from P0.15 to P0.05 per text, and from P2.50 to P0.50 per minute for mobile phone calls.
The order, according to NTC, aimed to make “voice and SMS more affordable to the general public.”
The agency said the prevailing interconnection charges in the Philippines “are high compared to most ASEAN countries” citing a report from the International Journal of Computer Networking Wireless and Mobile Communications (2016).
The report said that while Singapore and Myanmar do not charge for such services, interconnection rates for voice calls in Cambodia stood at P2.42 per minute; Vietnam, P1.26; Indonesia, P0.93; Thailand, P0.56; and Malaysia, P0.48.
The circular shall take effect 15 days after publication in newspapers of general circulation. — Marje Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued the guidelines for the implementation of Republic Act 11202 or the “Mobile Number Portability Act”; the law that allows mobile phone users to maintain a permanent number even when they switch service providers.
Memorandum Circular No. 03062019 outlines the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of law that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February this year.
Under the guidelines, mobile users may apply for a permanent number free of charge.
No interconnection charges shall be charged for domestic calls and text messages.
Mobile users who wish to apply for a permanent number should have no outstanding financial obligations with their current network.
Users should have no pending request for transfer of the assigned mobile number and the number should be active for at least 60 days.
Meanwhile, all telecommunication companies will share one mobile number portability service provider (MNPSP) to be chosen by existing service providers within 120 days after the circular takes effect.
All expenses for the software, hardware and other facilities required by the MNPSP will be shared by all telecommunication companies.
Violation of the regulations may cost service providers revocation of their franchise and a fine of up to P1 million.
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