NTC asks Globe to explain mobile data cap

by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2014 10:03 AM | Updated as of Feb 08 2014 03:21 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Subscribers are up in arms over the implementation of a mobile data service cap by telecommunications companies.

Social media accounts of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications were flooded with complaints against their "fair use" policy.

Under Globe's policy, subscribers are allowed up to 1 gigabyte per day or 3 gigabytes worth of mobile data consumption per month.

Smart allows up to 1.5 gigabytes per day or per month, whichever comes first.

Usage beyond this will automatically downgrade the subscriber's signal to 2G, which is much slower.

"Yung 2G dito di mo talaga magagamit. Siguro ang pinakagamit na lang nun yun BlackBerry ka pa at magsend ka ng BBM. Aside from that wala ka na magagawa sa 2G," Dodge Ronquillo, a subscriber, said.

Globe said three percent of their subscribers generate a bulk of their network's traffic every day. This affects the quality of the service provided to their other subscribers.

"Heavy users of data do affect the experience of all subscribers who are using the same network," Yoly Crisanto, corporate communications head of Globe Telecom, said.

Crisanto said they want to protect the majority of subscribers with the implementation of the data cap.

"We want to protect the majority of subscribers who regularly use the network for work or leisure and allow them to enjoy a great data experience," she added.

Smart Communications has yet to release a statement on the issue.

However, the National Telecommunications Commission said telecommunications companies are free to impose a cap on their subscribers' data consumption.

But subscribers have to be informed of its limitations, even before they subscribe to the service.

The NTC has sent a letter to Globe, asking them to explain their side after the agency received numerous complaints.

"Dapat alam ng consumer, di puede di nila alam, kasi mag-rereklamo yan... Para may choice siya, kung mag-subscribe siya or hindi," NTC director Edgardo Cabarios said.

But the NTC also admitted the data cap does not interfere with the unlimited data promotion, since the service is not terminated even if the quality is compromised.